Engage

Gold Medal Gifts

We all know what kind of gifts are the good ones. The ones that get you applause. The ones that get you a gold medal even. And we all know what kind of gifts we actually got from God.

We all know what kind of gifts are the good ones. The ones that get you applause. The ones that get you a gold medal even. And we all know what kind of gifts we actually got from God.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that most people are ungrateful for the gifts they are given. Those spiritual gifts are a part of who we each are. They come out of our being and who we were created to be. Whatever the gift may be, it is from God, and therefore, we rejoice in it, even if others don’t. At least we should.

But let’s be honest. When we really think about it, what is a gift? Well, the immediate thoughts run to famous musicians like Mozart who could compose at age five, or visual artists like Picasso who saw beyond what convention said to do, or dancers like Baryshnikov who could soar through the air like gravity didn’t exist. Or how about all those Olympians that are getting geared up in Canada right now? Now those are the gifted and the talented, right? The ones who can be applauded at a talent show, shown on TV, awarded a medal.

What about the rest of us? The one’s with the “hidden” talents: intercessory prayer, listening, organizing, delegating. These are gifts of just as much importance as any other.

And in fact, for those who have the other "talent show" gifts, the behind-the-scene ones are necessary for survival. A visionary without a task person will only dream dreams, and a task person without a visionary will only get the immediate stuff done. The pairing of one gifted person with another brings about life. For we are all the Body and the hand needs the foot as much as the foot needs the hand; let alone those other more “unmentionable” parts (1 Cor 12).

So, now I’m an advocate of bringing to the talent show whatever your gift may be. I say bring the house down with your ability to organize a pile of papers into color-coded files. Make them sit on the edge of their seats as you plan a weekend getaway. Have them lined up around the block to watch you listen to other people and help them discover their own gifts. And get a standing ovation for your prowess on the pocket calculator.

If all gifts have a place in God’s Kingdom, I say in all other arenas too. Now there’s a show I long to see, the one where the people backstage are applauded just as much as the ones out front. Even better, how about the Olympic medal ceremony for long division? That’s a gold medal I could really get into.

0