A dear friend of mine wrote a philosophical book, (which is interesting because he majored in Archeology) and had it published a couple of years ago entitled, “What is Life and Who am I?” . It is a very intellectually deep answer to the basic questions we ask ourselves: Why was I born? What are we on this Earth for? I think I can simplify things, at least a little.
Some say we are born to share or use our gifts or talents. You may say, “yea, what gifts? I work in a chicken factory or Burger King or I don’t have a job at all.” I can’t tell you why some people earn minimum wage jobs or why others are let go from jobs they had for years. I can tell you that there is a very human/earthly part of life and a faithful part of life. Humans, not guided by faith, are the ones doing all the oppressing looking at only the earthly needs and wants, i.e. the bottom line. Remember that even the most faithful Christian or Jewish person may have to take that job at Wal-Mart to pay the bills but they need to keep their faith in their gift and their eye on the true reason they are here on Earth. We all have gifts. I can only give you my experiences and my view of what I believe and you need to take it from there. Take a look at the cartoon below. I have known the artist since high School. He is very gifted in cartooning and has a gift with words.
Kieran inherited his gift from his mother. Her gift is different than his and if they were to put their gifts together, no telling what they could do. His gift makes people smile and laugh. Her’s makes people stop and say “wow”. Could they somehow figure out how to make money from their talents? Only time will tell and people who can help them do this. See, our gift may be great, but alone, it’s nothing.
What is your gift? What do you want to be when you grow up? It tells you in the bible, listing the gifts and what those people could do for a living. If you don’t believe me, look it up Romans 12: 6-8 (or click on link below). Your gift is the thing you do instinctively, without thinking too hard, something that comes as naturally as talking and walking. You are usually happiest when you are operating out of your gift. Think about. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A5-8&version=NLT
My Aunt and Uncle always said, “Figure out what you love to do and make a career in it and you will never WORK a day in your life”. My Aunt loved helping people and making their bodies work better so she became a physical therapist. My Uncle loved the law and clarifying it for people and thus became a lawyer. My Dad had a gift for numbers. Even after the stroke had taken 1/2 of brain’s functions he could still add up columns of numbers in his head and have the right answer. My husband loved excavation work and is a very generous person with his time and compassion so it seemed logical for him to go from construction/excavation work to EMT/ non-emergency transport work. If we could just combine the 2…. As for me, I am a teacher/writer/helper of God.
I tried once to get out of teaching. I was young and not sure if it was for me. I went into the opposite career of becoming a hotel front desk agent. A few people thought I couldn’t deal with the “business world”. I not only dealt with it, I became a concierge. I also learned a lot about good managers and not so good ones. I learned how important communication is at the work place. I also learned that I could not get away from teaching. I was at the hotel for 6 or 8 months and I was training other agents. Then when a new manager came, I was training him. I realized, after being there for 2 years, I was made to teach and it obviously didn’t matter where. So, I went back into the teaching world but now I had new perspectives. The hotel job didn’t take anything away from my gift but it enhanced it. Each job I took, I looked for what I was to learn from it to become a better teacher. Now, I teach at MY ideal placement. Not in a public school with a 40K salary, where most 43 year old teachers are, but where I could use everything I learned and teach for God’s purpose.
Stress has its role in us being able to follow through with using our gifts. A few years ago I met a woman, who fast became my only friend here in the countryside. She was all over the place internally and externally. She had more energy than a romper room full of ADHD kids. She loved her art so she taught it at a private school then when she went home she would care for her 2 dogs, 10 chickens and roosters, 3 ducks, a rabbit, and about 10 other birds, then she would water her various gardens and plants on her 1-2 acre piece of land with no shade trees. By the time she ate it was usually 8 or 9 pm. She was so stressed out it was incredible to watch her daily routines. I tried to help when I could. One day she just packed up, and told everybody she was going to Utah to pursue her art. So we helped. I cried as I took her to the airport and meanwhile my husband drove her stuff out in a moving van. She always believed that her gift was art ( just click on the tab above for the other blog and look for the Farmer Floyd story, she drew the pictures). None the less she could only get a job at a ski lodge outside of Salt Lake city. It didn’t take long for her stress to go away and for her true gift to surface and for God to bless her with another gift. This woman, who usually lost her keys while holding them, had met a man at work who taught her computer IT work. She took to it like a duck to water. She also took to him. She fell in love, got pregnant , got married and now is living a very happy life. She said that all the stress not only had affected her body so she thought she could never get pregnant but was also blocking her brain from learning. Without the stress, everything in her life fell right into place like pieces of a puzzle.
Stress can do horrible things to your body and brain. It can obviously block our true talents from being reached. It can stop us from believing in ourselves and our gifts. It can put a big damper on our faith too. Stress is caused by that human/earthly needs and wants I spoke of earlier and because it has become natural for us, we only recognize stress when it’s big or not part of our daily stress.
I believe that God put each of us here for a reason. From making a sad person smile to being in peoples lives for only 22 years so an education fund can be created in your name, or building a school for children in Africa with the Millions you have earned from being a journalist.
The thing to remember is that what ever comes naturally to you is your gift, so don’t neglect it. ( Bible- 1 Timothy 4:14) It even talks about it in the Old Testament and possibly in the Torah. Take a look at Exodus 31: 1-5 or 35 : 30-33 or Isiah 11: 1-3.
If you naturally encourage others then you should be a coach, a guidance councilor, a pastor, a mom or dad at a soccer game, or a positive commenter on a blog. If you like to find a problem and fix it, then an editor, a mechanic or IT work is for you but that is also a mom and dad job and sometimes a teacher. If you doodle on napkins or any piece of paper you can get your hands on and it’s good art, then use the art to reach and teach people. Art therapy, art donations, art lessons, and even art for book covers for authors who just don’t have the time or talent. If you have a gift in music then use that for children. If you like to rap then choose words that will help a child succeed at their goal and give them hope, not put them on the road to “early Parenthood” or worse. If you like to write then do it in a way that will contribute to others and something your family & friends can use or be proud to know the author.
I could go on and on and on but I think you get the point. Your gift comes from within and shows the world who you are and why you are on this Earth. It gives your life purpose and energy that can only be stopped by “evil” distractions of short term, earthly needs.
Show the world (large or small) WHO YOU ARE THROUGH YOUR GIFT FROM WITHIN. If you still need examples of peoples gifts showing who they are, look at some of the big names: President Obama= compassion, Thomas Kinkade= he saw the light, Fredrick Douglas= determination, Bob Hope= loved to make people laugh, Julie Andrews= her voice says it all, Jimmy Carter= Integrity, kindness, compassion, spirituality etc….. They showed who they were through what they did with their talents.
Now a question to my audience. Answer me this: Who do you think I am? Do I show the person I am through my gift of teaching or writing? I am looking forward to reading your responses.