There’s a saying that goes, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.” Another one, closely related, says, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.”

Both of these sayings were on my mind last weekend while I was attending a “Called & Gifted” Workshop that was held Friday and Saturday at my church. If the name sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be because I attended – and wrote about – a Called & Gifted Workshop that was held last year at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

One of the reasons I was excited about attending the workshop in the first place was that it sounded very closely related to what I see as my mission in life: helping people to see, value, and further develop the gifts and strengths they don’t even realize they have. What I have discovered over several years of coaching is that even though people may start out pursuing a specific goal or dream, once they recognize and gain a better understanding of their unique gifts and talents, they often also discover something more – a greater calling that they weren’t even aware of before.

I was pretty sure the workshop would reinforce this, and that it would also show me my own gifts in more useful and insightful ways. It did.

It also helped me to see many of the ordinary, everyday things I do – comforting and encouraging someone who needs a little support, contributing ideas or appetizers to a program or potluck, even writing about the observations and experiences I share in my weekly column – not only as something I just do, but as a sacred responsibility. And a privilege. The realization was both humbling and powerful.

I debated whether or not to take the workshop again when it was offered last weekend. I did, because I was curious about seeing the change and growth I’ve gone through following all that I discovered during the workshop last year. And because I wanted to enhance and strengthen what I learned there, as well as to see if there were any new or different gifts and skills that have been working their way to the surface since then. And, of course, because it was practically in my backyard. Driving to my church was a lot more quick and convenient than driving to the Cathedral in St. Paul, or to one of the other locations that have hosted the workshop.

We all have gifts and talents that have been given to us. Some of them are obvious and easy to recognize. Others can lie quietly within us, without our even realizing they are there until we are called upon to use them. Or until someone helps us to see and develop them.

We can use our gifts in any number of ways, and I truly believe we are called to use them in ways that serve and benefit others. When we do, we are indeed giving a gift to God.

And to ourselves, as well.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on January 14, 2016.
©Betty Liedtke, 2016

What are some of the gifts and talents you recognize in yourself? What are some of the gifts and talents that other people see in you and call to your attention? I’d love to hear about them! Please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog, in order to protect all of us from unwanted spam.