Then I watched Sister Cristina show God to the world, particularly to the judge who calls himself J-Ax on the Italian Voice.
Even if you've seen the video already, you can to go to 3:10 (make sure your cc is on English so you can read the subtitled interview) and see the bit that includes Sr. Cristina saying this:
|"I have a gift and I am giving it to you. Shouldn't things be this way?"|
And just like J-Ax, I had a serious Holy Spirit moment.
Some gifts are not like boxes of chocolate.
Some gifts are not given to us for our benefit at all. They are gifts handed to us, entrusted to us, with the understanding that we will pass them on to others to make their lives better. Maybe it's my natural tendency toward scrupulosity (why, yes I have worked really hard at quashing said temperament flaw. Thanks so much for noticing!) but I could always see how something like a gift for healing, for example, would be ridiculous to keep to oneself .
I mean, sick people need to be healed! Go out and heal them! Sure the end result might also be that you are praised, but cleeeeeeeeeeeeearly the good of the healing is why you're doing it.
But when it came to talents and aptitudes like artistic ability that don't very obviously save a person's life (or some other dramatic phrase that a scrupulous person like me might cling to), I tended to not appreciate or praise them because I was all caught up in some kind of "hey, people are saying really nice things about me so I'm in danger of being prideful so this must be, like, bad or something." Instead of "wow, God must trust me a lot to give me this with the understanding that I can do His work."
Sometimes a talent is a gift very unlike a box of chocolates. Sometimes a talent is a gift like a bottomless jug of water handed to us when we are not thirsty. We don't need the water, but so many people we meet will be grateful to us for sharing it with them.
Go find that jug of water you've been giving. Quench people's thirst. And it can show them the peace and beauty of a life lived in Christ