Use what talents you possess;
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang there
except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke.
There is so much bird song at the moment – I wake early every morning and listen to a unique choir, singing a new endless arrangement. They do not think about it, they are not inhibited, they do not hold back worrying about what other birds might think – it is the season for singing and so they sing! Their individual sounds ring out, sometimes discordant and sometimes creating a harmonious tune. To me, the beauty is in the unrestrained freedom, to make their own unique sound, to be themselves and not try to imitate anyone else. The season of singing, of bird song, is springtime – the hardships of winter are over, and the sun is appearing from behind the clouds. It is the season of new growth!
So I take inspiration from the quote and from the sound of the birds. I am embracing a new season, with more time and some space to tentatively try something new. I have always loved reading, studying scripture, writing my thoughts in a journal, with scribbles and notes everywhere! But it is only more recently that I have started ‘writing’ and trying to share in a way that is accessible to everyone.
In faith I am depositing my love for God’s word, in written form, in ‘the bank’ to see if it gains any interest.
I have taken that analogy from the story that Jesus tells, of a master and his relationship with his three servants. He entrusts them with his wealth, giving five bags, two bags and then one bag of gold to his servants, according to their ability. He then goes away and after a long time returns to see what has happened to his investment. The servant with five bags has managed to gain five more, also the servant with three bags has gained three more and both are commended by their master – what good servants. They had been faithful and productive; they had put to good use what they had been given. But the servant with the one bag of gold had buried it in the ground, he had just hidden it away. When questioned by his master, his explanation was, he knew his master was a hard man and so he was afraid to try and use what he had been given. He is condemned by his master, for his laziness, and told that at the very least he should have deposited the money in a bank where it could have gained interest.
What is so interesting to me about this story is that there is one master – but he is perceived by his servants in two completely different ways. Two of the servants are confident to try and put to good use what they have been given, they are not afraid of their master. But the servant who buried his gift in the ground, is ruled by fear!
Fear paralyses, love mobilises!
Fear paralyses us, for when we become fearful, we are afraid of making a mistake, afraid of getting it wrong and so afraid of messing up. When we become controlled by fear our default button is to do precisely nothing!
But we have been released from fear, we are dearly loved by God. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Love mobilises us, to try, to step out in faith, to even do something different that we have never done before and see where it takes us!
You see the master did not accept the servant’s excuse of being afraid, he challenged him about his lack of motivation. He should have done something, rather than just hiding his gift, he should at least have placed it in a bank, where it might have gained interest….
So we return to where we began –
Inspiration should gives us the motivation to try!
Each with our own unique gift – we are not responsible for the multiplication, for the result. Our responsibility is to enjoy using what we have been given, to the best of our ability, and to leave the rest to our Master. What a great place to be!