January 4, 2015 – Fellowship Church, Columbia Falls

The Parable of Talents

Here we are.  Or perhaps, here I am.  Although, I do not think I am alone in jumping into a new year with renewed spirit and determination to better myself.  Reflecting on the past year, I can say that it wasn’t a bad year.  Well, actually it was a very bad year for my waistline, but considering all things great and small I really have no complaints.

We all strive for different, better, more.  Of What?  For whom?  Why?  These particular questions had a much different meaning for me at 9:59am this morning before I attended church service today.   I enjoy writing.  Some say I even have talent…a gift.  I humbly accept compliments, but on the inside I beat myself up and know that I am certainly no Janet Evanovich.  After a glass (or two) of wine, you might catch me saying, “If I didn’t have to work, I would just write and do beading!”  and chuckle at the fantasy as I take another sip.  Up until today, my purpose and motivation has been purely selfish.  I write for myself.  Even though I write and publish a public blog, I do it because I would eventually love to be published and make enough money to write for a living.   This fantasy would give me more time with my family, more time to travel, to experience and write about new things.  It would give me the freedom of being in charge of my schedule and life to do the things I want to do when I want to do them.  It’s all about me.

Well, God has different plans, doesn’t he?

This year’s journey began at the 10am service at Fellowship Church in Columbia Falls, Montana.  I have attended service here once before and the pastor made my list of top three speakers.  He is passionate about his calling and is following his talent.  Pastor Joe doesn’t lecture.  He tells a story.  I feel like the sanctuary should be outside, with the congregation sitting on logs surrounding a crackling campfire at dusk.

This morning Pastor Joe recalled the Parable of Talents from Matthew 25:14.  Who knew there were parables in the Bible?   According to Joe, the verses are Christ explaining what the kingdom of heaven will be like.  I will let you read and interpret the verses at your own discretion, but, basically I have been a wicked, lazy servant and better shape up!  According to Pastor Joe and God, IT’S NOT TOO LATE!  Phew!  Praise the Lord on that news!   It is a sin to bury our God-given talents, and by talents he does not mean skills, but aptitudes.  And here’s the clincher.  It is just as big of a sin, if not bigger to use our talents for selfish reasons.  Wow!  That sure flushed my New Year’s resolution down the toilet!   My skill may be writing, however my aptitude of communication given to me by God himself, better be used to give back to God.

Where am I going with all of this?  My journey includes YOU!  It isn’t all about me after all!  It’s about reaching out to the world and I do mean world!  Lately, Word Press stats tell me that I have at least one click per day from someone in Brazil.  It means reaching out to family, friends and strangers to share my experience and journey of a closer relationship with God.   If one person can relate to my story and their world shines a little brighter as a result, then my journey is worthy.

Thanks, Joe for the wake-up call!

I will leave you today with a verse that Pastor Joe left with us:  Ecclesiastes 7:8 “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”