What We Give Back to God

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about talent and not wasting our days. I’ve been thinking about procrastination, scrolling on social media, and browsing the internet. I’ve been thinking about work and responsibility.

I’ve been praying for change.

Last night, I was sitting in my car outside my parents house. My wife was finishing up a phone call while I stared out the window. There I saw a tulip with a light shining on it.

A single tulip just resting in the light.

The tulip I saw

I started thinking…

God has given us all a tulip when we are born. A gift to grow and water. We know what waters our tulip and helps it grow. We all have the duty and the responsibility to care for this gift. Using our talents we water the tulip and feed it with the light it needs. When we watch our days go by the flower withers. When we head off course the flower loses its brilliance.

At the end of our life the tulip will be finished growing.

What will your tulip look like when you give it back to God?

You Are Capable

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up to rain. Not the little sprinkle type, but the cats and dogs type.

I had a virtual half marathon to run. Maybe I could run it on the apartment treadmill?

Nope. They clean the gym every 45 minutes.

So, I tied my sneakers tight. Put my iPhone in a plastic sandwich bag. Threw on a windbreaker. And started.

For those who do not know, a virtual race is basically you creating the race course and logging your time. You use an app on your phone to GPS track your course and mileage.

I had not trained for this virtual half marathon. The last time I ran one was in college. The most I had run in the last few months was a couple miles if anything.

I do not recommend this for safety/injury reasons.

However, I committed to running this half a few days before and I was not going to back down now.

1 mile 2.

3 miles became 7.

And eventually that was it.

13.1 and done.

2 hrs and 4 minutes later. I’ll take it.

If this virtual half marathon taught me anything it is that we are more than capable of doing great things. While I was running, I could not believe that I was still doing alright.

The problem is we have a hard time leaving our comfort zone. I am the first one to admit it. Getting up and running a half marathon in the rain was the last thing I wanted to do that Thanksgiving morning. However, for the first time in a long time I decided to push away comfort and seek an opportunity.

I think this small story is a testament to the fact that we are more than capable of achieving anything if we strive for it.

St. John Paul II says,

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

While this capability can provide us with achievement, its main mission should be to help others. We are capable of making an impact on a large scale in our homes and the community.

You are capable of loving others deeply and with conviction.

We have all received a call in our hearts to love without counting the cost.

We have been given special gifts to help change this world for the good.

God gives us a chance every morning to push ourselves for Him and others.

Let us remind ourselves that through Him we are capable. See the goal.

And get to work.

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Here is an old blog post with a similiar theme!

https://wanderinginwondertoday.com/2019/08/25/the-organist-with-one-arm/

I’m an Elf

It is sometime in May.

You are an elf working in Santa’s workshop.

You have been making toys all day and are tired.

Christmas is not for a few more months anyway.

So, you leave and go out and do elf things.

But there is one elf that doesn’t join you and your friends.

This elf has super duper focus.

He focuses on the details and builds and builds and builds.

He stays up late into the night, wakes up before sunrise, and creates.

Yet, all he can build is helicopters.

Not different kinds of helicopters, but rather the same exact one. 

A red helicopter.

Over and over and over again. Red helicopter. Red helicopter. Red helicopter.

Curious, one day you ask this elf how.

How does he do it?

How is he so focused?

How is he so motivated?

He tells you simply,

“I am the only one who can build red helicopters, and their is a child out there longing for one.”

This elf had a gift. He was given this talent by Santa to be able to build a perfect red helicopter.

It was his unique talent.

That no other elf had.

And he recognized it and gave it his all.

All in. 

Friends, we all have gifts.

Abilities.

Talents.

Human’s are freaking incredible.

We have been given these gifts not from Santa, but from God.

If this elf was a slacker, the world would be less awesome.

If this elf thought his talent was useless…

There would be less smiles on Christmas morning.

Like it or not, you have a duty.

Yes, you.

The duty to use your talents to help the world be a better place.

Because

There is a person out there waiting for the gift…

that only you can make for them.

 

 

Where is the Key?

I have a problem. 

A problem that most people seem to struggle with. 

I know what I need to do.

I know who I need to be.

I know what I need to accomplish.

Yet, most days, I just don’t act.

Nike, says it plain and simple…JUST DO IT.

We all have our gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. Gifts that we MUST use to help glorify the Lord and better the world. Gifts we must use to build up others in our community. If you don’t believe that you have any gifts, you are wrong.

There is something that distinguishes you.

Gifts you have that separate you from the rest of the world.

For me, I did not believe I had any gifts of my own.  I had trouble believing that my gifts really were unique. It took me a long time to listen to my friends and even strangers. Frankly, I think I ignored their encouragement for a reason.

To be told you have a gift makes you responsible. It is a call to make a move and impact the world. It is the world crying out asking you to open the door for others.

Responsibility is scary.   

 

Let’s imagine this scenario real quick. 

Imagine a giant door right in front of you. The door is ten inches thick of silver metal. You are in a white walled room. On the door is a giant lock. You can barely move in this room because there are so many people crammed into it. You look in your hand and you have a key. Everyone around you also has a key. Every key is different. They have all tried to open the door but nothing. It won’t budge. Their keys won’t fit into the lock.

They look towards you.

They say,

“You have the key. Step forward. You have the key. Help us open this door.”

 

They do all they can to make a path for you.

You walk up.

Insert your key into the lock.

The metal door opens. The crowd of people then rush into the next room where they see another door with a lock. You try your key and it does not work. Other people try their key and it does not work. You see a young woman in the corner. Everyone encourages her that she has the key. They help guide her forward. She opens the door. 

 

The cycle continues. 

 

All my life I have wanted other people’s gifts. I wanted other people’s keys. Through my jealousy I often neglected who I was and never opened the door in front of me. I tried to find myself in the keys of others. By forgetting about the key in my hand the door in front of me was never opened. Sure, I can make a difference in the lives of the people close to me…in the room. However, I could never cause a movement. I could never knock down the obstacle completely. 

Friends, use the key you have been given.

Use it to open the door for others.

Wield it like a sword. 

Stare in awe at its uniqueness. 

Where is the key?

Literally, right in your hand.

You are holding it tight. 

You have no excuse.