On Monday my sister-in-law, Megan, was the seventh fastest woman in the Macon Labor Day Road Race…out of more than 1500 runners! That’s her in the picture above mugging for the camera and flashing her age group medal. Megan routinely finishes near the top of whatever running contest she enters, so this is nothing new. But it never fails to astonish me that she’s able to perform so well while making it look so effortless.
I, on the other hand, can train and train and train only to cross the finish line half dead and well behind the leaders. Megan is able to run with such an easy gait that she seems to glide across the ground as if she were running on air. Meanwhile, my poor Mizunos violently punish the pavement with each plodding step.
We all have different gifts. In Romans 12, Paul encourages the faithful to hone their skills by using them. While Megan’s gift allows her running to look effortless, her talent has been honed by a lifetime of practice. Identifying and using our gifts sounds easy enough, but it can be a challenge.
Sometimes it takes others to recognize in us what we cannot see in ourselves. At other times our gifts come so easily and naturally that we hardly recognize them as gifts at all. But unless and until we recognize our gifts, we cannot make a conscious decision to hone them and dedicate them to God’s purposes.
God calls each of us to use our gifts and use them well. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than knowing you have partnered with God to do something excellent through the use of your God-given talents. So take a minute to do a personal inventory. Ask yourself where your talents and passions lie. Ask others you trust what gifts they see in you. Consider how you can use what God has blessed you with to be a blessing to others.
Each of us has different gifts. In cooperation with one another we can combine our talents to do excellent things for God. So what will you do to identify the gifts that God has placed in you? How will you use those gifts to produce something excellent for God? Who can you partner with to maximize your results? And how can you start being excellent for God today?
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace…so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” -1 Peter 4:10-11