“What are your talents and gifts?” This question challenges me every time I see it. Why is this one so hard to answer? Why is it so hard to identify and claim the things that make us special? Do you ever struggle with this one too? Struggle to identify your skills and talents? To see what makes you unique and gifted? Or, maybe to say them out loud and own them?
My son loves a PBS cartoon called Wild Kratts. It’s about two brothers and their friends who study the unique traits of animals. One of the friends is an inventor who creates creature power suits that enable the brothers to become the animals they study and experience the animal’s special powers. They get to fly like a Peregrine falcon, swim like a whale, run like a lion.
Most of the episodes feature favorites like lions, elephants, hippos, octopus, squid, falcons. But, then there are ones about squirrels, lizards, earthworms and even pigeons. What could be interesting about a pigeon or a squirrel? Believe it or not, there are actually some interesting powers of even these animals. The Draco lizard flies. The Basilisk lizard walks on water. The pigeon is the only bird that produces a milk to feed its young.
Made me think how this applies to us, too. Don’t we each have a special power? Special gifts and talents that make us unique? What would someone uncover if they studied you? What special features would they build into a “creature power suit” to become like you?
I keep leaning on this verse when I have to answer “what are my talents and gifts?”. Keep reminding myself that I am gifted; that I do have a special role to play; that my gifts and talents are uniquely formed for me.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. ~Romans 12:4-6
We each have different gifts, given to us by God.
God has different plans for each of us, so he gave us unique gifts for our roles.
Your gifts may go beyond the most obvious and may work in combination for their full potential. The roadrunner isn’t just special for its running speed, but it also works in teams to hunt rattlesnakes. Of course, the speed is a great complement so he can escape if the rattlesnake strikes.
So, I need to stop comparing myself to others. Stop complaining that I don’t have someone else’s gift.
Stop using what I don’t have as an excuse for not seeing and accepting what I do have.
Instead, find my special gifts and talents. Identify them! Claim them as my own! Use them! Find my role in this world and how my unique set of gifts can contribute and play their role.
Even if some days I only feel like like a common pigeon, remember that even pigeons have special talents too!
What about you? How do you answer the question “what are your talents and gifts?” Will you boldly identify them, claim them as your own and then use them!
If you have young kids, Wild Kratts is one of the better (and educational) cartoons I’ve seen. Here’s a link to the one about the falcon and the pigeon: