What is the purpose of the gifts, talents, and abilities that have been bestowed upon us?
Saint Teresa of Calcutta was once staying with a community of sisters working with the Aborigines of Australia. She learned of a man who lived isolated from the community. Everyone ignored him and his house was disordered and dirty.
Mother Teresa visited him and offered to clean his house, wash his clothes, and make his bed, but the man refused saying, “I’m OK let me be.” Under Mother’s persistence he finally relented. While she was cleaning she discovered a beautiful lamp that the man never used because he had no visitors to light it for.
“Would you light it every night if the sisters came?” she asked.
“Of course,” replied the man.
From that day on, the sisters visited him every evening.
Two years later, after SaintTeresa left Australia, she received a message from the man. “Tell my friend that the light she lit in my life continues to shine still.”
Every action we take has more value and more impact on the world than we realize. Even the smallest action can lead to great change in the world.
In the British science fiction series, “Doctor Who,” there is a moment when the Doctor is discussing the importance of an ordinary man. “An Ordinary man, that’s the most important thing in creation. The whole world’s different because he’s alive.”
Think about that for a moment. The entire world is different because you are in it. You have an effect on all of the people you interact with, and they in turn interact with others. You may never know the difference you make in the world, but that doesn’t mean you don’t make one.
Every person in the world is given a unique combination of gifts, talents, and abilities that no one else is given in the same way. Every person in the world is here to accomplish a task that no one else can accomplish in the same way. If we fail to use our gifts as God intended, then there is no telling what the loss to the world may be.
The Parable of the Talents reminds us that the gifts we have been given are not for us to hoard or use selfishly for our own gain. We are expected to develop our gifts and talents for the benefit of others. The gifts God has given us are to be used to build up the Body of Christ. We do this by using these gifts to glorify God and to help our community. There are no small gifts. Ask yourself what gifts has God given to me and how am I using them? Do I develop them, use them and share them? In other words, do I invest them?
Let us all take our God-given gifts, and use them to glorify God and serve our brothers and sisters. In this way we will return our gift to God ten times over.