On Sunday nights, I work with the 4th and 5th graders at church. We call ourselves the “Rock Stars.” I’ve been hanging out with them for a couple of years now, and it’s pretty fun.
I think what I enjoy the most is seeing them on Sunday mornings or even away from church. It feels good for them to come up to me and toss me a high-five. Makes me feel like I’m making a difference.
Our lesson last week was on the Parable of the Talents. In the story, a master gives his three servants coins while he goes away on a long trip. When he returns, he asks the guys what they did with the money he left in their care.
The first and second servants actually doubled the money they were given with strong investment strategies. Conversely, the third buried his coin and came back to his master with the same thing he started with.
I think one of the primary reasons folks don’t share their talents is because they don’t really have the confidence to know what they’re good at. Or, they work to be humble, thus not admiting where they excel.
At times, I’ve heard my kids imply that they’re stupid or untalented. It bugs the heck out of me.
After reading the story, I gathered the kids around for a game of Pictionary on the dry erase board. I had written down talents and they had to draw them and have their friends guess what they were.
Strategically, I worked not to have talents that were easy to see – like a great voice or strong athletic skill. Instead I stressed gifts that that receive less attention and noteritity – like an ability to show compassion or strong listening skills or the gift of being a friend.
My hope is they’ll stop comparing themselves to the most beautiful girl in class or the most athletic boy on the soccer field. Instead, I want them to see that whatever talent they’ve been given is important and worthy of recognition. I want them to be able to verbalize what they’re good at and be proud of their gifts even if they aren’t the ones that society seems to laud the most.
I believe God gave us all abilities and that if we’re not using them to make the world a better place we’re squandering. And that’s a lousy and lazy thing to do.