In old age, I don’t want to review my life and wish I’d done more with the talent given me. I don’t want to wonder what held me back. Should I have found better teachers? Practiced more? Knocked on more doors? I don’t want to remember a fork in the road when, after facing the 100th obstacle, I gave up.
Because I’ll know in my heart of hearts I didn’t value my small, budding talent enough. Enough to give it everything.
So, I’m writing a Talent Manifesto. The Manifesto is a declaration, a guide—for me and for you:
1. I’ll receive my talent, even though very, very small, as a gift from God. A gift God expects me to develop.*
2. My talent takes me out into the world. Therefore, I’ll keep an open mind to the possibilities. I’ll use my talent on behalf of children, the elderly, the poor, the rich, the imprisoned, and the privileged.
3. I will stay abreast of what others accomplish in my field and learn from them. However, I won’t stack my talent up next to someone else’s and judge mine as inferior. Daily I’ll remind myself that God created every person unique. Who I am and the talent entrusted to me is a one-time event. Comparison is invalid. Ridiculous. Poison.
4. I will see obstacles as necessary lessons. Everything is training. In time, frustration and discouragement will only increase my passion.
5. I’ll develop my talent whether or not there are visible results. I’ll enjoy recognition and rewards if they come. But I know appreciation is like an after dinner mint—not required.
Then, as I review my life before passing over to the other side, I’ll be able to say, “I gave it everything I had… Thank you, God, for my talent.”
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*See The parable of the talents/investment in Matthew 25
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