The Curse? Of The Multi-talented – Reflections on my Birthday
Many times I have come across profiles of big CEOs who run several companies, sit on several boards, take charge of charities, write several books not to mention offer guidance and mentoring in their family circles. Many people look up to them, and when it comes to the truly great, they make those around them feel t hat they too, can become great. They make it look like it is actually possible to do so many things and touch so many lives.
Now, such are the people I looked up to when I was growing up. Pastors and Bishops who lead great congregations, ran businesses, farmed and helped many people. They encouraged me to develop as many talents as I could find in myself, and use them for the Lord, for good causes.
So I enrolled in all sorts of classes and tried all sorts of things. I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed working with the young people, singing in the worship team, acting and dancing in the drama club, leading bible study, volunteering at church and mentoring girls. When I turned to academics, I became thoroughly interested and absorbed into the internet, finding myself totally mesmerized and fascinated by the creation of websites and digital applications. And oh, did I want to write and publish many books and articles?
The same mentors who had encouraged me to live out my full potential gave me opportunities in which I could put into practice what I had learnt. I was deeply fulfilled and enjoyed myself greatly. As I continued to grow up and get into the work world, I found that these things came in handy for me. I could also help out when colleagues and friends were stuck in certain areas and work would progress so much faster.
I remember in one place of work where I would be on top of my work and would even have extra time to add help out in other departments. I edited many documents, helped the IT department, the accounts department, publication of materials – all to my great joy. I enjoyed counseling with people and mentoring those younger than me. I truly believed that I was doing something good, and that I was adding value – and at no extra cost to the institution. I was simply glad to have the opportunity.
This wasn’t the first time in which my skills came in handy across many departments, no. That had happened before, and when it would be time for me to leave, I would have to train several people to do what I was doing alone.
This time round, I was in for a rude shock. One fateful day, I was let go of. And I was told that I was unfocused. Is there a word like that? That I wasn’t focused, that I should do just one thing.
Needless to say, I was devastated. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. And that stuck with me for many, many years. As I turned 33 a few days ago, I asked a few of my good friends to send me some questions to help me evaluate my life and see about how to leave a good legacy. Many of them sent me back to the Bible. John 4:34 – My meat is to do the will of my Father. The same Bible says to not neglect the gift that was bestowed upon me by the laying on of hands by ministers. That whatever my hand finds to do, I should do with all my might. And so on and so forth.
One friend had the audacity to send me a crazy, eye-opening book. I love her for it. And then I lost a good friend, a dear, dear friend. I was devastated. We had planned to do so much together in the future, that we never quite got around to doing. Now that opportunity was lost, forever. As people recounted her life events, I found all the questions and answers that I needed. She’d been widowed so young, yet went to to rise to the highest heights of education, ministry and business, not to mention raising a wonderful family. She did not let challenges come in her way even when she faced the worst of them. I couldn’t have had a better example to pick from.
She wasn’t whiny about the blows life had dealt her. She wasn’t apologetic about her talents and gifts. She used them all for the glory of God. She touched many lives and mentored many through her career life, businesses, books, ministry – you name it. And she had great relationships. I haven’t seen a burial attended by so many people – and I’ve seen a lot.
And right there ant then, I decided that I would shake off those wounding, tearing devastating words of that former employer. Being multi-talented and multi-gifted is a blessing, both to the individual and to those around the individual. And God gave 1, 2 and 5 talents to the people in that parable in the Bible. I must use my more-than-1 gifts. They may be 2, they may be 5, but I’ll be answerable for them. Not others. Not how much I pleased others and lived a ‘modest’ life. I will be expected to multiply what I was given, not hide my light under a bushel in order to avoid offending others. I am not going to lose my taste as salt, else I will be useless.
So I will write many books, in addition to the 2 or 3 I have already written. I will mentor many girls. I will publish more books, sing and record more songs, serve the Lord in all the ways that my hand finds to do, and I will do so with a joyful, valiant spirit, in spite of the challenges in my life. The challenges in my life will be turned into inspiring testimonies from others. I will encouraged those who are battling with depression, I will encourage those who have lost children. I will encourage plus-size ladies who can’t find anything that works for their glorious bodies. And I will teach and encourage the financially struggling, as well all find ways to live in godliness and contentment. I will use all my talents and experiences, good and bad, to bring some light in someone’s life. I will hold nothing back. I will add all the value I can, for God’s glory. And by God’s grace, I will love people and form deep, healthy, lasting relationships with them. I will not postpone relationships. Let’s relate today, now. People are priority over things. Time might just run out on the most precious thing – relationships. Things can wait, but let’s love on another today, and not get caught up in negativity and petty issues.
Just like the many great people I looked up to when I was young, just like my mentors who find time for me within their busy business, ministry and social work schedules, I will love God, use all my talents and gifts for him, and love people. I will believe that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. That I am Christ’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Note the s. Works. And I will do them all. I will leave a good legacy, I will inspire beyond time and space. I will not be encapsulated in a prison of discouragement. After all, at the end of the day, I’ll be the one to answer to God about may more-than-1 talents. And I want Him to tell me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I will not please man at the expense of disobeying God.
And yes, I will ask for God’s wisdom to handle it all with grace, humility and propriety. And to give fitting responses for every situation. Just like a diamond, one side is beautiful enough, and not all the sides can be displayed at the same time. There’s a time for everything, so by God’s grace I won’t go flaunting it all. But as I turn 33, I will shed off the fear of doing a lot, and I will give my whole life for God, who gives me strength to live for Him.
So are the multi-talented cursed? No way!!!