A few nights ago, while I was up feeding our infant son, I found myself marveling at the amazing things that have come about in our society through great minds. The trigger to this thought process began with the fact that I was contemplating the genetic testing results that I am patiently awaiting to see if I have the cancer gene. You can get cancer without the gene, but having the gene drastically increases your risk for cancer. With a mom who passed away from Ovarian Cancer at a relatively young age and my maternal grandmother having battled breast cancer, you can probably understand why I’m diving in further. As I sat there in our rocking chair, I was in awe thinking about the ability we, as a society, have to look at blood and analyze it in such a way that we can learn about the future outlook of someone at a molecular level. It’s mind boggling to me. My mind doesn’t work in such a way. I can’t even imagine how these types of methods came to pass, but I’m grateful for those people who took the time, energy, and their God given talents to bring forth so many amazing things in our lives.
As I continued to feed my son, my thoughts kept racing along on this same topic. I got to thinking about all these amazing inventions, discoveries, research studies, and technologies that are beyond my comprehension. I happened to look up at the source of the light shining in my room and it caught my attention. The four vanity lights from the bathroom served as my light that night. Three were shining and one was not working. I got to thinking about how the light that was not working was not broken because the light next to it was working. It was not shining because it had just burnt out. This made me think of the parable of the talents found in the Book of Matthew. Stick with me here, if you’re starting to lose sight of my direction.
You see, I was not blessed with the mind of a genius. These types of minds that create these marvelous things mentioned above aren’t even found in my circle of friends. In referencing the parable of the talents, let’s say these geniuses are the ones granted 5 talents that then return to the Lord with an additional 5 talents. Let’s say the ones that were given two talents to work with are all of my amazing friends and family that live simple lives but with great gifts and contributions to the world around them. For the sake of the parable, I will be the person who the Lord gave one talent to and then that person buried the talent, then returning to the Lord with nothing. Now, in tying this back to my vanity lights. The person granted the five talents went out and made the most of their five talents. He did not gain more talents because he stole from the person who was originally given one talent. The person given the one talent (me) ended up with nothing completely on his own accord. I am the one responsible for the lack of light and talents coming forth from me. I still struggle with this from time to time. Everybody else is so bright and gifted that sometimes I don’t see much point in making more of the one talent I’ve been given. It’s easier to just hide what little I have for safe keeping, right? Wrong. And that’s where this whole crazy train of thought wrapped itself up into a little package with a pretty bow. The three lights in my bathroom seemed bright enough to suffice. Light was still filling the room. But how much brighter could it be if that fourth light shined among the vanity lights? I am always amazed at how much brighter a room of several lights gets when you merely replace one burnt out light. And, even better, in that light shining nothing gets taken away from the lights around it. The idea is simply beautiful.
Bringing it back to the parable of the talents. Each of the people in the parable were given separate amounts, however, none of them were lesser because of it. Both the person given two talents and the person given five went out and made something of it. They, in essence, chose to turn their light on. Though the last person only received one, he also was no less of a man. He was not left with nothing, or burnt out, until he chose to bury it. What I’m trying to say, and perhaps not as eloquently as I’d like, is that it doesn’t matter if Suzy is given the talents of a genius and Jane is given the talents of your most admired friend, and you are given one talent. It’s what you do with that talent. Do you let it shine and work for your betterment and the world around you? Or do you simply throw in the towel, as I often did (and perhaps still do) at times? And, if you are throwing in the towel, might I suggest that you consider the fact that while three lights may very well light the room sufficiently, one additional light can make the world that much brighter?
How grateful I am for the marvelous minds that have enlightened our lives in ways that I cannot understand. For all the effort they put into not only keeping their light alive but bringing greater light to the world around them. Now, it’s my desire to be the light in my own life. I don’t have to be at some genius level to brighten the world. I just have to turn on and make the most of the individual beauty I’ve been given. I am striving to let my light shine.