Talent. We are all exceptionally good at something.
For each of us, it may be something very different from the next person. We all have some sort of talent. I’m not really thinking about our spiritual gifts here… you may remember I wrote about Our Greatest Gift recently. This talent that we’re exceptionally good at… it is most likely completely unrelated to our spiritual gift.
Practice hones our ability to perfect our talent. Michael Jordan was given the physical ability to excel at basketball… a whole lot of practice and hard work helped him be one of the greatest players ever!
Ok, so you know I have a personal example…
I grew up in Vero Beach, Florida. “Where the tropics begin.” Vero has changed a wee bit through the years. Back in the day Vero was one large orange grove. Of course, there were the intermittent irrigation canals and fruit packing houses. Otherwise, yep, just one big grove… row after row after row of oranges and grapefruit… everywhere the succulent aroma of orange blossoms! It was in the grove that I found one of my talents… I have a real flair for peeling oranges. Everyone knows if you want to eat an orange you have to peel the fruit first. Yes, most anyone can do this… however, there is somewhat of an art to it. I developed a flair for peeling oranges in the grove.
Being really good at it means that sooner or later… other people are going to find out about your talent. Then what? Well, they may just want you to peel their fruit for them, too. Before you know it your aptitude turns legendary… and that’s all she wrote… Katie bar the door… they’ll be coming in droves to your local grove… and therein lies the (potential) problemo!
You may wish not so many people knew you have a way with fruit. Ok, so my example is going to be slightly ridiculous now because no one will believe me if I say people are knocking on my door asking me to peel their fruit. However, if you’re really good at… say… shucking oysters… you may find yourself parked next to a burlap bag for the entire evening at the fall oyster roast (just sayin’). And back to MJ… yes, he made a fistful of $$ playing a game. Nothing wrong with that, right?
The down side?
The down side for MJ… the oyster shucker… and for me, the fruit man?
You may remember I wrote How God’s Using My Booty To Keep My Ego In Check. God uses my ridiculously underwhelming booty to keep my ego in check. This thought on our talents and the down side is sort of the polar opposite… If talent + practice makes me really good at peeling oranges then I have to keep constant vigil on my ego lest I may become prideful about my ability.
Whatever it is that you’re exceptionally good at, you need to be humble about it. If you’re humble people will admire you for your talent. Humility ends in honor…
“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 17:12.
The down side of being exceptionally good at your talent? There may not be one… if you stay humble about it.
What is your special talent? Have you experienced God using your talent to help keep you humble?