Gifts and the Parable of the Talents
By J. Allen Wilson
Often when I write of my thoughts, they run along the lines of the goodness that I see and feel living here in Belton. My thoughts today are still along that very same line yet they stray somewhat from the original theme. I owe the idea behind this piece to a local businessman here in Belton. This is a man who for me is a friend. He has spoken many times in the past to me covering a variety of personal subjects, be it from the passing of my late wife three years ago from cancer up to the discovery of my own cancer and its treatment. I always leave his establishment uplifted.
His words this day were a little hurried due to the influx of customers, yet his tone and sincerity was patient. He is soft spoken, and his words are full of grace and wisdom. He spoke of ‘gifts’. Not the kind of gifts that we get at Christmas, or on birthdays, but the kind that I feel that we all as humans are endowed with. I believe that we all have these gifts, but many chose to ignore them, or fail to use them to the fullest, or even sometimes in the wrong way. After I left I pondered on his words to me that day and I thought about the parable that Jesus spoke of over two thousand years ago and was written in Matthew 25: 14-15
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his own ability; and immediately took his journey”.
In the ancient world a ‘Talent’ was a unit of measurement as in a talent of gold or silver. In ancient Greece it took six thousand Drachmas to make up one talent. However in today’s world the term talent is used to define a person’s ability to sing, act or dance with skill. If the word talent is used in this context, then it is as I stated earlier…we are all born with talents, or in other words, natural abilities. However if one will note in verse 14…” who called his own servants”, meaning believers in Christ. This changes the context of the word talent as for those that He gives talents to that they are to be used to further the ministry of Christ. However, be you a believer or non-believer you can still use your natural abilities for the betterment of mankind, or you cannot use them at all.
Driving now home I thought of my friend’s words and thought upon the words that my friend spoke of and asked myself…how am I using my talents? Am I multiplying them, or am I keeping them buried to where they bring no profit?
As I approached the town square I pulled into an empty parking space facing the depot. The sun was low in the sky and the orange and yellow trees across the town square seemed to glow with an uncommon brilliance. I watched alone for some time as the lights changed from red to green and then red again. People in cars and trucks moved in the silence of my still heart. For once in a long time my mind was quiet and I was listening, and it occurred to me that I could do more with what I have been given, but what could I do was my question.
How shall do this, and what should I do? I then thought of the homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk in Anderson. I thought of all the cancer patients I see at the cancer center every day and I realized that all I had to do was to just look, see and listen to the world around me and I find many things in which to apply myself. I think about Belton and those who live within our line of sight and have needs. With the holiday season fast upon us I want to encourage all who read this to use their ‘Gifts / Talents’ to reach out and bless someone who is less fortunate and bring sincere compassion to the forefront. We all have natural abilities and talents. Will you use yours for the betterment of our community and bring forth profit, or will you keep it hidden to where it earns nothing?
May God Bless you all this Christmas Season and may all your Blessings Bless others.