“The fruit derived from labor is the sweetest of pleasures.” Luc de Clapier
I told myself I hated singing in the old people’s choir growing up. My mom had no patience with it because she knew that my voice was needed. “If you don’t use your talent, you’ll lose it.” I generally rolled my eyes and decided to sing with them and usually found myself enjoying it.
Fruit comes in seasons and likewise our ability to produce it. I’ve been in seasons where I knew I was using many of my talents all at once. In other seasons, I’ve felt quite unproductive. Still, I feel annoyed when I’m with people who seem to be wasting their talents. Maybe it’s that I see too much potential in people, but I don’t think that’s the case.
What keeps us from wasting our talents?
1. We can’t get started. In my case, the most difficult part of producing something is getting it started. I’ll tell you about my couch experience at another time. It often comes down to someone who nags us until we get up there and use that talent.
2. We don’t know how to get involved. Perhaps we are unaware of how we can use our talents. The fun part about putting together a huge project is looking for those who have the potential to do it. I love imagining different people using their talents to achieve a big goal. At my university, I often found myself walking around the music department. There were many practice rooms where I could hear a plethora of sounds including voices, pianos, and various instruments. It’s fun to think of how to put all of that potential to use. Sometimes, it just takes the right person coming to us and asking us to be involved.
3. We are afraid to risk. If we’re not using our talents, there’s really no risk involved. Yet, we somehow conjure up some imaginary risk that keeps us from trying something we’ve always wanted to do. What’s that all about?
4. We don’t have a muse. Some grow up in an environment where they are held back, put down, or simply not encouraged. Fortunately, in my home, learning and trying out new things were the norm. Maybe we should consider it our job to go around pushing people toward their gifting. Do we need a muse? If so, we should get out there and look for the people who are doing what we want to be doing.
5. We’re too involved with other things. Here’s the big one. We never seem to get to the thing we want to do. We keep finding other things to do instead. Well, time is ticking. It’s not stopping for us to use our talents. We’ve got to use them or lose the opportunity to use them. That’s the bottom line.
It’s all about our decision to produce the fruit we envision. We can no longer blame it on others or on our circumstances. Life is short, let’s live it well.
Is this your season to produce some fruit?