Saturday, March 20, 2010


This week our prompt is the opening of Isabel Allende’s 1999 novel Daughter of Fortune

Everyone is born with some special talent

...and while I agree in principle, I see a problem with the places people take this. Here are two fallacies I hear expressed as a "logical next leap" of philosophizing.

1. "I haven't discovered anything yet that I'm the best at."

God didn't promise us that we would each be "the best" at something. There are a lot less "somethings" to be the best at than there are people in this world at one time. We should sift through the talents we possess and settle on the ones we can use to bring the most happiness to the most people and the most glory to God, understanding that these may not be the same. Usually, these are things we enjoy doing. Sometimes they won't be, but we shouldn't summarily discard a talent based on our dislike of it. Understand this: There will always be other people better than we are at "our gifts", but God doesn't ask us to be better. He asks us to do what we can with what we've got. Success, in God's eyes, is measured by percentage--not gross ability.

2. "When it comes to gifts, all men are equal."

False. God gives us all gifts but they aren't distributed equally. I see this with students every day. You would think that a child who played basketball well would invariably fail math class and that a star saxophone player would spend all his time on the bench. It doesn't always work that way. On the contrary, some children seem to inherit everything: looks, talent, brains, and charm, while others blend into the mousy-gray background of mediocrity--twitching a sad tail occasionally, in wimpering objection to their lot in life. Once again, there will always be people better than we are. What makes us equal is not the talent scale; what makes us equal is the fact that we all have a perfectly priceless soul and a Heavenly Father who loves us with an immeasurable love. In His sight we are all "the best" and "the most desirable" and worthy of supreme sacrifice. The road to His home, though it has been painted as overly difficult, is never an obstacle course of leaps and sprints, or an achievement test with minimum entrance scores. It's a road that challenges our gifts in just the proper places. Thus one may leap through the gate...or crawl.

The best gift is one that has been offered to everyone, one we have yet to achieve--eternal life. That's equal. Nobody's will be longer or better than anyone else's. I think we will wonder why we so fiercely tried to be "the best" back on this cursed planet where mediocrity was more common than genius, and less dangerous. It will embarrass us to admit that fame and recognition were more important to us than pleasing the Master.


Janet said...

yes, and yes! the traps of waiting for something to emerge full blown or comparing ourselves to others are often what prevent us nurturing the seeds of potential.

Anonymous said...

So true, we got to do with what we have :) our own mix of shades n hues !

anthonynorth said...

I like to think everyone is good at something. It's just a shame so many never find out what it is.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Carina said...

I think we hurt ourselves just as much by assuming that we aren't succeeding in life if we haven't "lived up to our potential" as defined by others as we are if we refuse to use our "gifts" at all. The point is - all for the Glory of God. The rest are just unimportant details, and often distracting from the true goal.

Roshelle said...

I've never been the best at anything either. No trophies or blue ribbons in my attic... but I have learned that what matters is what we do with what we have been given and the attitude and purpose behind our actions. About the time I think I'm pretty good at something, I look around and see someone so much better at it than me and the opposite is true, too. About the time I think a situation is bad, I just look around and see how bad it really could be and then I start counting my blessings. There are some gates I crawl through and some I dance through... some I run through and don't look back... all just to see what He has in store for me next.

aftergrace said...

God has a plan for all of us, we just have to be patient and it will be revealed. :)