The Givenness of Our Lives

All of you are gifted.

All.

There are so many things you do, and virtues you have, that I do not possess.

How about we admire the good and giftedness that we bring without pummeling ourselves for not possessing a gift that another has? And realize that there is the possibility that we too can grow in whatever area we seek.

I didn’t know I could write well until I went to seminary. I didn’t know that people wanted to hear and read what I had to say until I went public with it on my radio show. I had to step out no matter how afraid I was, and no matter how I suffered from imposter’s syndrome. I still have to step out.

Some of you play the piano and violin well. Other instruments. Sing. Others of you can cook or organize a house or are running businesses or are an oasis of peace and stability for a child or adult who desperately need an oasis. You’re gregarious and people love you. Or you are quiet and detailed. Or a mix.

Some of you are counselors or coaches or politicians or can fix most anything – maintenance. In law enforcement. Or a school bus driver that makes the world happy and keeps children safe. Some of you work retail and are so good at it. Others are salespeople. Nurses. Military. Physicians. Lawyers for good. Some of you are so hospitable. Some of you are fundraisers or social workers. Teachers. Stay at home parents who do what so many of us cannot do as well as you. Wonderful homemakers. Pastors to whom we bow because you are faithful, not in it for the money, and give it all for your flock even if it be small. Some of you are marketers.

Some of you are older and your energy might be faltering but you volunteer or pray or quilt or are an anchor for us all. Or you bear your pain and sickness with a strength most of us can only imagine. Some of you are caregivers for family members. I could go on.

I only have a few gifts, I imagine a couple of virtues (and plenty of sins and vices). There are so many things I wish I could do.

But, I cannot do and be everything. As Jesus taught, whatever money or talents I have, I have to be a good steward – stop wishing I were someone else. That sops energy and is a recipe for misery. I am to the point where I accept who I am for good or for ill. I hope you can too – it will reduce misery.

And we will all be good when you accept who you are because I can’t be you. No one else can be.

And you can’t be me.

Our flourishing is intertwined though. We can only go forward together. We cannot make it alone or with our gifts alone.

Let us accept the givenness of who we are and of things and peace will anchor in our souls and society. That doesn’t mean we accept abusive situations or shoddiness. Evil. I only mean that we don’t wish our lives away.

We have one short, fragile life that is precious to God and others.

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