All Things Bright and Beautiful… And Sometimes a Little Scary
Most of us have read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, where the one-talent man buried his and was reprimanded upon his master’s return for not using his talent and growing it into something better. Many have made the comparison that God has given us many talents, and when we do not use them for his good, we’re in no better place than that one-talent man. And we often thank God for our talent-related blessings–creative genius, artistic imagination, steady hands, wisdom and discernment.
I believe with all my heart that God created us to be expressive, imaginative people who use our skills to build things that honor Him. There’s evidence of this in Scripture, such as in Exodus 31:1-6, with the skilled artisans used in building the tabernacle:
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.
“And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:
So why, if we’ve been created to be such gifted, imaginative people, do we feel sometimes like we have no talent?
What’s the problem? Are we afraid? Ashamed?
My six-year-old has no qualms in showing anyone her “artwork,” It often appears in random places. See Soccer Player (October 2012–age 3), above, and Family (December 2012-age 3), below.
And my ten-year-old used to be the same, proudly telling everyone about the “Play Center for Ants” he created at Camp Invention, (I know. Zoolander made it really hard to keep a straight face), and showing his pictures to anyone who’d look. But now, he’s a little more reserved.
Why is it, that as we age, we tend to stifle our imagination? We hold back our vision, silence our stories, and refrain from penning the words on our lips.
It reminds me of the lyrics from Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
We, as Christians, are supposed to be in awe of God and His creation, expressing His beauty,testifying His everlasting goodness, boldly proclaiming His gospel. God has given us a story to tell–His story. And at the very least, we can each share our path to faith in our own way.
Let us be more like the apostle Paul, as he said to the Romans:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes… Romans 1:16
Don’t be afraid! As we go about our lives, may we always find ways to express the joy we’ve found in Him. Let your book begin today, and tell His story to everyone you encounter!