Our Talents

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Sabrina concentrated hard on her work, carefully shaping the grayish clay on the table into what she wanted. Her sculpture of a tiger was almost finished. Molding the head was the trickiest part, for she had to get the facial expression just right to make it look real. The eyes were slightly glaring and the mouth was opened in a snarl to reveal the fangs. When it was finished to her liking, she took a step back to admire the creation in front of her. It was perfect.

She ran outside to find Jeremiah and Michael, who were collecting berries for a pie Sabrina was going to cook. Jeremiah was adamant that if she was going to cook the pie, then the men should be the ones to collect the berries. She soon found them rummaging through a patch of wild berries bushes, grabbing the berries that were ripe.

“Ow!” Michael pulled his hand out of the bush, a thorn stuck in his thumb. “That’s got to be the hundredth thorn I’ve found today.”

Jeremiah smiled. “I told you, you’re too quick to grab a ripe berry when you see one. Just reach in slowly and pluck the berry, not the thorn. Like this.” He put his hand down deep into the bush and pulled out a juicy berry. Michael tried again, and was rewarded with a thorn to the palm of his hand.

“This is stupid,” Michael grumbled. Jeremiah laughed and shook his head.

“Sorry to interrupt, Jeremiah, but I want to show you what I made with that clay you gave me!”

“Well, let’s go see it. I think we have enough berries. Are you coming Michael? Or are you going to grab a few more thorns.” Jeremiah winked. Michael just rolled his eyes and headed towards the house.

“If I never see another berry bush, it’ll be too soon.”

Back in the house, Sabrina proudly presented her tiger sculpture. Jeremiah circled around it, examining every detail. He was clearly impressed.

“Well done, Sabrina!” praised Jeremiah.

Sabrina beamed from ear to ear.

“That looks great! I wish I could create something like that. But the best I can do is a lump of something,” mumbled Michael.

“Now, now. God has given you talents too,” scolded Jeremiah.

“Like what? Finding all the thorns in that bush?” Michael winced as he pulled yet another one from his wrist.

“You’re quite remarkable with the bow, and you training with the sword is coming along nicely. Your hunting skills are quite good too.”

“Maybe…but it still would be nice to be able to create stuff like Sabrina.”

Jeremiah sighed as he sat down next to Michael at the table. He grabbed some extra clay and quickly molded a crude sculpture of a person.

“You know, Michael, God wants us to be content with who we are. God designed us exactly the way He wants us to be. He gave each of us talents that we can use to glorify Him.”

Michael sighed. “I know God made me the way I am, but sometimes I wish He made me different.”

“The Bible says in Romans 9:20 ‘Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?’ We’re not supposed to question God’s design. Do you think God makes mistakes?

“Of course not.”

“Then why do you wish you were different? If God is perfect, then when He created you, He made you exactly how He wanted you to be; with the talents and looks that you have.”

“I know that. It’s just sometimes hard to understand why.”

“That’s because we cannot see the future, but God can. He can see exactly what is in your future. The problem is, since we cannot, we sometimes think we know better than God. We think we should look different or have different capabilities. But we aren’t supposed to question that. When we do, we often try to change ourselves to how we think we should be, and we can mess ourselves up. Imagine if my clay sculpture wanted to change how I made him.”

Jeremiah took his little person and pulled off the right hand and foot. He put the hand where he had had the foot and put the foot on the head. Sabrina and Michael giggled.

“See what a mess it is now? I had him exactly how I wanted him. But now that he tried to change himself, he’s not going to be very useful. See what I mean, Michael?

“I think so. I should be content with the talents God has given me.”

“Right. But don’t get me wrong either. I’m saying we should never try to change at all. We should work on the talents God has given us, and try to perfect them and make them better. And because of sin, there’s stuff in our lives that shouldn’t be there. We need to get rid of that also, but only with God’s help can we do it. What is wrong is when we aren’t content with the talents God has given us, and instead are jealous of the talents of others. When we do that, we neglect what He did give us. To be truly content, we must both be thankful for what we have and not lust after what we don’t have.”

“So I should focus more on my hunting and archery skills, since those are talents I know God has given me.”

“That is a good idea. But if you really do enjoy sculpting like Sabrina, then don’t leave it off to the side entirely. Work on it, and maybe God will give you a talent for it also.”

“Thank you, Uncle Jeremiah; you’ve really helped. I’m going to go practice with my bow while Sabrina cooks that pie.”

Michael gave Jeremiah a quick hug, then grabbed his bow and quiver of arrows as he ran outside.

“Watch out for thorn bushes!” called out Sabrina, with a big grin on her face.

Handing over the basket of berries, Jeremiah smiled. “Now why don’t you get to work on another one of your talents: making delicious pies. Then I can use my favorite talent.”

“What’s that?”

“Eating.”

Sabrina laughed as she grabbed the basket and began to work.

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