I spent much of last weekend at the Cathedral of St. Paul. I hadn’t been to the Cathedral since my kids were confirmed, and as I drove into the parking lot on Friday night, I was struck anew with the majesty of the building, especially the way it was lit up at night. So the first thing I did when I got there was a “touristy” thing – I took a few photos before I went inside. I did the same thing when I arrived again on Saturday, since the morning light gave an entirely different – but still stunning – look to the Cathedral.

The reason I was there wasn’t for sightseeing, however. I was attending a “Called & Gifted” workshop sponsored by the archdiocese.

I first heard about “Called & Gifted” during a small group study at my parish a few months ago. I was immediately intrigued and excited about it, because it sounded very similar to what I see as my passion and mission in life – helping people to see gifts, skills, and strengths they don’t even realize they have. I’ve seen very clearly and decisively how people grow in confidence and enthusiasm, and how they gain a new sense of purpose and power, when they discover traits and talents that they had all along but never thought of as anything special. Or that they weren’t even aware of, simply because these gifts and skills came so easily and naturally to them.

I love seeing the transformation that takes place in people, and I enjoy knowing that not only are they changing their lives, but they are starting to change the world. I had a feeling this was the point of the Called & Gifted workshop, too, but in a faith-based context – which I was eager to explore.

I knew I was in the right place when the first person I met was someone who lives in Colorado, not far from where I used to live. We had a wonderful conversation before even going into the room where the workshop was taking place. And within five minutes of sitting down at one of the tables, I had a conversation with a woman who has long had a desire to go to Africa, and was very much interested in my work in Uganda. When things like this happen at a seminar or workshop – before the program even begins – I always take it as a good sign.

The workshop was everything I hoped it would be – and more. I now have a better idea of some of my gifts, and of ways I can use them that will be in service to God and to others and that will give me a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. I also have a better idea of some gifts that are not strengths of mine, which explains why I struggle with some things that other people accomplish so easily and naturally.

I’m certain that my weekend at the Cathedral was just the beginning of a new journey and adventure. And I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on February 5, 2015.
©Betty Liedtke, 2015

What are some of your gifts and talents? How do they help you–in any area of your life–and how do you use them in service to others? I welcome your comments, but please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog. This is to protect all of us from unwanted spam.