Some of the wisest people I know spend much of their time with their hands in dirt. All those hours spent among earthworms must help them draw profound insights. I’m new at gardening and I’m not so profound to begin with, but I did have one insight the other day.
Steve and I spent Saturday morning transplanting bulbs hidden underneath our juniper bushes, placed there by someone else years before we arrived on the scene, undoubtedly before the junipers grew to overshadow them. We unearthed ugly knobby bulbs that will magically transform into brilliant pink tulips, white crocuses, grape hyacinths, yellow daffodils, and orange day lilies. Stunning, vibrant flowers whose beauty is only seen by Steve and me, and only when we purposely pull the prickly branches aside to peek at them. These flowers’ dazzling gifts are being wasted. They were made to showcase God’s beauty and creativity, to bring joy and hope to our hearts. And no one can delight in them while they remain hidden.
As we dug the bulbs up and replanted them, I wondered how often our gifts lie dormant and unused. God gave all of us natural strengths and abilities, and often we toil our lives away in work that doesn’t fulfill or motivate us, labor which isn’t appreciated. The spiritual gifts reserved for His children are meant to encourage and build up the body. We’re not supposed to keep them to ourselves until they shrivel up or rust out from disuse, no good to anyone. Neither are we to hide or downplay our gifts because we’re timid or don’t want to step out of the comfortable shade.
Maybe our transplanted bulbs won’t make it in our new location – I can’t promise much because I’m a novice gardener. But we had to try, even at the risk of failing. We had to reposition them so they at least have a chance to shine. What about you? How can you shine?