"Our time here isn't to find or negotiate or to deny our gifts but to allow them to breathe!"
But the question I really want you to think about is have you ever wanted to exchange the gift God has given you perhaps for something more your style? Something that you're more comfortable with? Maybe you have found yourself saying, "God, I would much rather be doing something more fun and artistic instead of being good with numbers and working in this cubicle." Or, "God, I would much rather have a steady job and paycheck than be an artist." Or maybe you've said something like, "But, God, I'm an introvert, I don't think you could possibly give me the gift of being a public speaker, I would rather be a writer (an award winning author, actually)."
Perhaps none of those thoughts have come to your mind but you get my drift. We're often negotiating with God, wanting to exchange our gifts for some that seem "better." But why? Is it to make ourselves more comfortable in the world? Or appear bigger? Whatever the reason, it's probably our ego's voice taking over trying to have us believe our gifts just aren't sufficient. I wonder, if we could look back at the end of our life, how much time would we see we spent bargaining with God, unsatisfied with what we've been given, always looking for the next best thing.
In our consumer-oriented culture, it's easy to get caught up in upgrading. And, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to be and experience the best in life. But, there comes a place on the journey when we must sincerely accept and acknowledge that God is the and has the Master Plan, and that it is for our good and the good of the world. We must learn to be content and know that who we are, as God's Beloved, is enough.
I am guilty of wanting to exchange my gifts from time to time. I admit, I can be like an ungrateful child at Christmas stomping away from others, pouting, with my unwanted gift tucked under my arm, wondering where the gifts that I asked for were (especially if I've been "good.") And God, the gracious parent, letting me have my "alone" time, then coming with a warm glass of milk and sharing lessons, "But my child, this gift I've given for you is special and just for you, not to separate you but to allow you to use it to bless others; if only you can see the beauty that it is and that you are."
Thankfully, God is patient and merciful with us on the journey with Him/Her as we learn the greater truth that our gifts -- the ones placed within us before we were born -- are enough. Our time here isn't to find or negotiate or to deny our gifts but to allow them to breathe! No matter our age and season, our gifts do not die or lose their luster; as long as we are here, they are always ready to do their purpose though new ones may emerge and evolve.
As we enter this Advent season where we pay particular attention to waiting on Christ (Christ Consciousness) to appear, I hope to be more aware of how God is appearing within me day-to-day. I believe this doorway between the Spirit of God and others that's in us -- be in a smile, a joke, a helping hand, a hug, a piece of art, a listening ear, a prayer -- is more than likely the gift God has given us for a time such as this.
Our individual and collective gifts, big or small, are necessary. Our gift is a way in which we commune with God while we are here on earth. It's a way we know who we are in Christ.
I'm thankful that God didn't allow me to exchange my gifts. I'm still learning how to walk in and embrace them with greater appreciation and awareness. And when each of us moves in that Light, from fear to love, our gifts will make room for us and heal the world.