Did you hear about the mega millions winner who left his ticket in a drawer? Northern California resident, Steve Tran, purchased the ticket while on business in San Jose, and then he promptly forgot about it. Several days after the winning number was published, he woke up in the middle of the night and remembered he’d bought a ticket. He was curious, so at 3 a.m. on a Monday morning, he went searching for the lottery ticket. Turns out, it was a winner worth a measly $324 million!
And he’d left it in a drawer.
For days, this guy was a multi-millionaire, and he didn’t even know it. Amazing!
This got me thinking . . . I wonder how many of us have an undiscovered or forgotten treasure in our lives? How many of us have been given a natural or supernatural gift from God and it’s sitting unused somewhere in a drawer of sorts.
• Once upon a time, people used to comment on your musical gift . . . but it lies dormant now.
• Once upon a time, your friends would tell you, “You ought to be a counselor or a pastor someday because you’re really good with people.” But you tend to isolate yourself from hurting people anymore.
• Once upon a time, kids were drawn to you like moths to a porch light, and nothing filled your heart with joy like the smile on a child’s face, but you are too preoccupied now to bless the little ones.
• Once upon a time, you used to build things, creative and beautiful things, but life’s too busy now for any creative endeavors, and so you’ve stop expressing yourself with your hands and artistic skill.
I stand by this deep conviction: God has given each and every one of us gifts. They are wonderful and special gifts given to us for the benefit of others. They are also gifts that fill our hearts with joy and a sense of purpose as we give them away.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6, NIV). He said in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
Before time, God had you in mind, and He destined you to live an abundant life (John 10:10). He wants you to fulfill your God-given purpose that is full of surprise and immeasurably more than you can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
I know this is true, and in your heart of hearts, so do you.
Of course, we’re not all called to be pastors. Few of us will be rock stars or best-selling authors. Not for a moment am I suggesting that we have to be famous. What I’m encouraging is faithfulness. Are you doing what God made you to do? And, if not, what’s holding you back?
What false belief?
What comfort zone?
What lack of diligence, determination, or development?
What lie from the pit of hell?
Recently, our Creative Arts Director, Teresa Ahrendt, resigned from our church staff. We’ve worked together for ten years. She has been an integral part of our church’s growth and success. I deeply love and appreciate her.
Honestly, at first, I was more than a little concerned. It was hard for me to imagine our staff without this amazing and gifted woman.
But the more I prayed, the more I realized, for her to take the next step in her pursuit of her God-given purpose and dreams, this is necessary. Hard. But good.
Thankfully, she’s still in my life and still in our church. But I admire her willingness to step out of her own comfort zone as she finds ways to develop and use more of her gifts in a way that will probably bless far more than our church.
What about you?
As we step into 2014, if you’re uncertain about what gift or gifts you have, will you commit to a process of intentional discovery? If you know them, but they’ve been lying dormant, will you remember the treasure He’s put in your life? Will you take whatever risks are necessary to rekindle and revive God’s gift to you and give it away for the benefit of others in His kingdom?
Perhaps you are only one decision away from a radical and glorious new you in this New Year! I pray so.