If You Don’t Put Out Your Candle No One Can Take a Light
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
We all are endowed with beautiful human qualities; special gifts unique to us and us only. Well, some people might be like:
‘Meh, I’m not so sure. I’m a writer but everyone is a writer nowadays, and I’m not even half good as they are, let alone a quarter!’
That very well may be, but the thing about gifts is that they are like fingerprints. Many people may carry the same gift, but the way we use ours is what will make us unique. There are a million artists but they all have their own style.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your [a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, [b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” [Romans 12:6-8:]
Some people are fortunate enough to have unearthed these special gifts early; others are yet to.
Some are sharing their gift with the world, while others – probably you – still have yours locked away, whether unknowingly or in complete cognisance of its existence but something keeps crippling you.
Fear mostly, it tends to be.
Of shining your candle.
Of burning it brightly, probably afraid no one will appreciate what you have to offer.
The fear that there may be others better than you and that you cannot match up.
Or even the fear that sharing your gift may extinguish it.
Some are probably a bit shy to share it for fear of being judged, others prefer to keep things a little private.
No matter your reason for not putting yourself out there, here’s a simple reminder for you: the world is poorer without your talent, and so are you.
In the words of Oliver:
“If there is one sin – or rather one waste – it is not doing what you have the inclination or gift for.”
Go ahead, Jump
Look, if you wait for the day you will get out of bed and have no fear to share your gifts with the world, chances are you might end up waiting forever.
The thing about fear is it stands in front of you. But if you can find a way to let it push you from behind, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Of course, it’s easier said than done.
But who said you have to overcome your fear to do the things you should be doing?
You don’t have to.
Every single time you become conscious of the fact that fear is getting in your way of doing something, you have a choice to make: you can either choose to let it keep grounding you or you can opt to move through the fear.
Moving through the fear is not easy. But you know what else that does? It liberates you. And that’s one of the best feelings you will ever experience. Isn’t that more fun than all the fear and anxiety that grips you?
The beauty about making the leap is that once you do it for the first time, it gets easier the next time.
Parable of Talents
When we share our light with the world, we don’t become worse off for it. If anything, we add to the quality of our life by adding value to the lives of those who need it.
“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” ~ Benjamin Franklin
If you are naturally adept at playing the piano, but you never share your God-given gift with other people, then what you are doing is selfishly wasting away your talent. When you share it, though, when you give it away, it becomes a gift to others, enriching their lives.
Would you say you have become worse off for it?
This is exactly what the Parable of the Talents teaches us.
One day, a rich man packs up his bags and heads off on a trip. Before he leaves, he summons three of his servants to give them some talents to manage while he is away. The first one gets five talents, the second one gets two, while the third receives one talent.
Time goes by and one day, the rich man comes back home.
The first two have managed to multiply their money. The five-talent servant has gained five more talents and the second servant has also doubled his.
As for the third servant, instead of investing the talents in order to earn more returns as the master would have expected of him, he went ahead and buried his one talent into the ground out of the fear of losing it.
The master wasn’t pleased with the third servant. So he takes the money back and casts off the servant. The other two who multiplied their talents are praised and blessed with more for their good stewardship.
So, what can we glean from this parable?
Sharing your Light
Each of us is endowed with a great gift.
And as with the talents bestowed upon the servants by their master, each of these gifts comes with great responsibility. The gifts are not meant to be buried in the ground for fear of losing them; they are meant to be made use of.
“Only when you cultivate your talents and gifts will you prosper.” ~ Sunday Adelaja
When we share, our gift will grow and the returns will more than double. This will bring meaning to our lives, giving us a sense of fulfilment while adding value to those with whom we share the gift.
The failure to, on the other hand, could see us lose the gifts we have been given.
Because our Creator sees us sharing our light with the world, He will add to our light and send us even more opportunities. However, it is important to add that what is ours to give we should give unconditionally – Not expecting returns.
In closing, when you put out your candle for others to take a light, there can be no losing. Someone needs the light, and both of you will be better off for it.
“When God gives you a talent, He expects you to use it. It’s like a muscle. If you use it, it will grow. If you don’t, you’ll lose it.” ~ Rick Warren