I am starting out this year with a Bible study by Jennifer Kennedy Dean called Secrets Jesus Shared. It is a study of the parables Jesus told and I am totally loving it!
Today I read about the parable of the talents and was struck anew by this familiar story. I wanted to share what I learned as it is totally appropriate in this first full week of the new year. The point with the talents was not to waste them or hide them. To take the risk of investment instead.
I journaled about what talents-- spiritual gifts, natural talents, faith, opportunities, time, relationships-- God might be calling me to take risks with. He doesn't want me to sit on any of these things.
My life in the past 6 years has been about learning to take risks for Him, to say yes to the things He asks me to do, not worrying about the consequences or fretting about how I might appear to others. I am still learning what that looks like, training my ears to hear a voice that is usually but a whisper amidst the other, urgent noises in my life. I am seeing that when I go out and invest, He shows up and celebrates with me. Two of the servants knew this about their master but one perceived that his master was harsh and unforgiving, waiting for him to mess up... so he decided to play it safe. God is not waiting for me to fail, He is waiting for me to try. When I step out, as my pastor says, He steps in.
One thing that really stuck out to me was the master's response to the two servants who doubled their talents. He said, "Well done good and faithful servant." That's what we always hear people say they want to hear from God. But look what that servant had to do to hear that-- take a risk and invest the talents. What does that say we need to do in order to hear that when we one day stand before Him?
What talents might He be asking you to invest this year? What risks is He asking you to take? I pray that you and God will have some celebrating to do when He comes back to see what you did with what He gave you.