It was 6:00 a.m. on a cold morning when I turned off the radio dial. I had just listened to a special on Eva Cassidy on National Public Radio (NPR). A sure sign one has crossed the threshold of middle age is listening to NPR. I didn’t know of Cassidy until that morning. She was a singer. Her tastes in music were an eclectic smorgasbord of blues, folk, gospel, pop, and r&b. Eva died in 1996 of Melanoma, just thirty-three years of age. She recorded two albums before her death. Since she passed away four more have been released. Eva never entertained the idea of recording a solo project. She didn’t think she was good enough. Her dream—her ultimate—was to sing back up for Stevie Wonder; for her that would be as good as it gets. If you get a chance listen to one of Eva’s recordings, her voice is golden!
Call me a sap, but I was near tears listening to her story. As I got out of my car and walked into the office I couldn’t help thinking about how much talent God has packed into each of us. In some ways, I think we’re all like Eva – incredibly good at something, but unaware of just how good we are. And why wouldn’t we have talent? We are created in the image of our God who gives gifts to each of his children; capabilities for doing certain things well.
God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)
Not everyone can sing like Eva Cassidy, but every member of the body of Christ has a gift. Some possess people skills that enable them to lift others to great heights or comfort them in deep valleys. Some are craftsmen. Some paint, others sculpt; some teach, others lead; some serve, others give. Our Creator endows all of us with talents and gifts.
You are created in the image of God. You are a spiritual son or daughter of the Virtuoso. He gives all of his children gifts, but too many of us are like Eva, unaware of just how gifted we are. We are undiscovered artists and leaders and teachers and encouragers and helpers and financiers of God’s kingdom. This New Year honor the Gift-giver! How? Unwrap the gift, discover the talent, and sharpen the skill! Make the most of your one and only life.
When we maximize our potential and invest it in growing God’s Kingdom we bring God glory. We also discover a joy that can be best described as golden!
FOCAL POINT: On a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), how well you are maximizing your gifts and talents? Spend some time praying about what you can do today to “take it up a notch or two.”
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis