Sunday, March 21, 2021

Ruined and Useless

(Praying Lion by Tara Rye 2016)

What is your talent?  How do you create or serve others through your talent or gifting? In middle school, I just knew I wanted to grow up to become a famous artist. I took art and quickly became dear friends with my art teacher. I drew all the time. I would practice drawing for hours every chance I could. But, one day I heard that you have to die to be famous or really make an income. This sobered me up and caused me to believe that my art gift that gave me so much joy was just a hobby and I should spend my time developing my other talents. Once I started college I left my art behind. I no longer had time to spend hours drawing or creating even for the fun of it or atleast that is what I thought. I thought I needed to spend hours growing other talents and gifting that seemed to rise up as more relevant. 

This reminds me of the moment when Jeremiah was asked to bury a linen belt in the crevice of rocks (Jeremiah 13:1-11).  He left it there for many days before the LORD told him to go get it. When Jeremiah returned to get it, the linen belt was ruined. It had been destroyed by abandonment, disuse, and no care. I realize that God used this as a lesson to Israel to illustrate the importance of their relationship with Him. Israel had walked away and abandoned God and His commands because of their own stubborn pride and pursuit of false gods. Their lack of care in their relationship with God rendered them useless to God. 

This made me think about my art talent. I finally picked it up twenty years later. My heart and mind was of a mature woman, but my artistic skill was of a high school artist. Literally, my skill, talent, gift was only as mature as what I had put into growing it. I had to invest time for it to mature with me and for it to grow into its gift. 

Isn't this true in all things? In my relationship with God. I need to spend time knowing Him and letting Him know me. This is where transformation can take place and spiritual maturity is born. This can only happen through the intentional habits of prayer and being in the Word of God. In my relationship with Greg, it is the same. If I ignore him and do not listen to him or talk to him then we struggle and that makes life hard. As a leader, I learn about leadership to help me to know what to do so I can mature in my leadership. Why study leadership if I am not going to apply it? In each of these, I realize it requires the gift of presence, investment, care, and use for growth to happen. I don't want to put my relationship with God or Greg in a situation where it is useless. I don't want to do this in my leadership either. I learned the lesson the hard way with my art. I am still trying to mature it, but I can feel the brunt of time and lack of use everytime I sit down and try to create. I am not as malleable as I used to be. I learned that the quicker I apply the lesson the steadier I am in growth. The more I delay then the maturing phase takes longer.

Is there a gift or talent you have put away that you might need to pull out and put to use? Is there a truth or leadership skill you know, but have not put into practice? Have you pushed a person aside you need to draw near to? What about God or His Word? What are you doing to mature in your walk with Him? Do not let these go into ruins because of lack of use or being cast aside. Pull them out and start using them again. You might find like I did with my art. I had forgotten the joy I received in doing it.

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