Hide it under a bushel? No!

Hello.  My name is Marissa, and I have God-given talents.  That’s easy enough to say.  After all, I am throwing God in there, so it seems spiritual, right?  But owning my talents, being confident enough in them to be willing to use them and share them with the world?  That is a much harder prospect for me.

Hi.  I’m Marissa and I am an artist.  Harder to say.
Hi.  I’m Marissa and I am a good singer.  Still Harder.
Hi.  I’m Marissa and I love to write.  Terrifying.

Why? Why am I so scared to share the things I love to do with the world?  Well, it makes me feel vulnerable.  Although I love art, I am certainly not the best artist in the world.  Not even the best artist I know.  Same with singing.  And writing- I feel silly even attempting a blog when there are brilliant women out there like Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist who are saying the things I want to say more eloquently and to more people than I could ever dream.  My fears of not being the best- let’s be honest- of not being deemed passable or even adequate, have kept me hiding my light under a bushel.  My writing was confined to my journals, which even I was afraid to go back and read.  My art was kept as doodles, scrapped and thrown away before it was shared.  Or labeled as ‘crafts’ which seemed more acceptable.  My singing was limited to my car- even my shower seemed to public a venue.

But still, these were things I loved to do.  And as I did them, I realized that I felt more connected to God.  Even though I had never heard these disciplines spoken about from the pulpit, or written about in books on spiritual discipline, my soul sensed that these for me were avenues to my father.  And slowly (probably too slowly) God started calling me to take risks with them- to let others see.  It started with my art, a few years ago.  Then, over this summer, I led worship for the first time.  Then, a few months ago, I *gulp* started this blog.  And guess what?

The world did not end.

No one threw a rotten tomato at me, or even giggled at my untrained technique.

I had fun.

I got a bit more confident.  And a LOT more brave.

God has given us each gifts.  Ones that we use as a calling and vocation, and others that we use for joy, and to glorify God.  We live in a culture of perfection, we are surrounded constantly by images and videos of people at the top of their field.  I I think that seeing these virtuoso’s can make us afraid to develop our talent, to feel that it is paltry or insufficient in contrast.  But the thing is, only one person can be the best at something.   There is only one doctor in the world who is the best at removing a gallbladder.  But thinking that this means that he (or she) is the only person who should perform the procedure is preposterous.  Just as we need many doctors, the world also needs many artists.  Many writers.  Many runners and dreamers, and cooks, and inventors.

What do you love?  Are you cultivating a discipline of doing that thing on a regular basis?  Both for God’s glory and for your sheer joy of it?  If not, what is holding you back? I challenge you today, clear some time and go for it.  See what blessing you may gain from taking the risk….

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