Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Over the weekend, it was also the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere.
It's a week to celebrate, get cozy, quiet and reflect. It's a peaceful time of year filled with candlelights, twinkling lights and perhaps northern lights.
Parable of the Talents
Recently, I've talked to a few people about the Parable of the Talents. If you're not familiar with that story, it's in the Book of Matthew in the Bible. Paraphrasing, it talks about a Master going on a trip and entrusting his servants with talents (money).
When he returns, the servants who increased their talents were rewarded, while the servant who hid his talent greatly displeased the master and was called "lazy" and "evil."
God Given Gifts
What I believe is this -- God has given us gifts, and those gifts are unique only to us. If we hide our gifts, that's like throwing away a gift from God! If you gave someone a gift, would you be happy if that person just threw it away? Instead, if we took our gift and shared it with others, wouldn't that increase that gift's value? Let's say you bought your family a game, and each month, you gathered together to share that game with the family and friends, wouldn't that initial gift's value just become priceless?
I also believe that when we are in our purpose -- using our God given talents to serve and help others -- that it also increases our wealth.
Some interpretations of this parable also mention a way the servants saw the money is the way they see God, their master and themselves. The two who increased his master's money, sees their master (and God) as generous, loving and kind, and they believed in their own ability (talent) to take what they're given and multiply it. Meanwhile, the third servant, in his fear, only sees the negative -- he saw how his master worked hard for that money...he saw that the master harvested where he didn't sow and gathered where he hadn't put down seeds. And he wasn't confident he could do better than his master, so he hid his talent.
This interpretation shows me how important it is for us to release what we've observed in our own lives with the people around us. Did our parents work so hard they got sick and died? That may instill fear in us to make more money because our upbringing would have us falsely believe that the only way to make money is to work so hard that it kills us. Do we have other beliefs that are not real and have created fears, so that we're not allowing our light to shine in this world?
The way we view God, life and the world around us is the #1 most important way for us to create what we truly want in our lives. If we see God, life and the world as hard, difficult and full of sadness, then that's the reality we are creating for ourselves. Instead, if we truly see (not just trying to see) life, God, and the world as hopeful, loving, generous and kind -- then we are able to reach for our dreams and help and serve others along the way!
While we're in a reflective mood this holiday season, I would love to know -- what are YOUR God given talents? Is it an ability to connect people? Is it a sense of humor? Is it your particular way of being empathetic and compassionate? Please comment below. No matter what or how you celebrate -- Happy Holidays!
With so much Gratitude & Love,