Sigh. Here I find myself, once again, caught between two struggles.

Not only was it near impossible to spend much time during Holy Week in prayer and reflection (as I wish I had the discipline to do and keep trying to do each year), but I feel like all my attempts to focus on Good Friday and Easter are distracted and disjointed.

Doesn’t God say, rather explicitly:

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  –Ps. 46:10

Yet here I am, unable to quiet my troubled mind. Perhaps, if I write about it, I may find clarity.

When Jesus told the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), he seems to imply that not using the gifts we’re given is tantamount wickedness. The first servant, who went and traded his five talents for five more, is rewarded at the end of the parable with the one talent of the wicked servant who hid his away.

By contrast, as soon as people use their God-given gifts, they can become cocky, prideful, and downright idiotic (I’m thinking of Samson here).

In an effort to use my talents and seek humility, I’ve often avoided situations and opportunities that (I think) will tempt me into pride. Yet, I often wish I could use my talents more, to a greater benefit. If the Right One is getting the benefit, should I be wary? And then, there are well-meaning bystanders, who assure me that I could make a great profit–or great fame, or great whatever–if I pursued such-and-such an avenue.

Using my talent for God is not bad, but suppose I tried to do the same thing…as a professional. Is it still the same, or is it different?

I suppose in order to prosper, we must use some measure of talent; how else can we be expected to make a living? But, where do we draw the line? Is it wrong to seek out greater opportunities for our talents? Would not seeking be wickedness, like the servant who hid his talent away?

What if I pray that God will send me the opportunities? Then, I know I can handle whatever opportunities come.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. –1 Cor. 10:13

Okay then, I will pray for God to send the opportunities. I will also pray that when setbacks and temptations come, I praise him for the chance to grow.


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