Image taken at Whitby, United Kingdom. (c) Jonathan Chu, 2012
I've been watching Grey's Anatomy for two weeks now. In the series, Dr. Shepherd, a really talented neurologist just lost a patient and he's distraught. Filled with fear, anguish and guilt, he sank into the pit of alcoholism. He pushed people away and channeled his anger to the people he loved. He then decided he didn't want to be a surgeon.
He asked his girlfriend, Meredith, "Will you still love me if I'm not a surgeon?"
Without hesitance, she looked him in the eye and replied, "No."
He couldn't believe it. The expected answer was that she would stick with him regardless what his job is. And guess what her next reply was -- "No because you have a gift."
This statement got me thinking. Because you have a gift. And then I understood.
When we love someone, we want that person to be at his or her best, to exercise his or her gifts, to be him- or herself. This applies to ourselves too. If we love ourselves, we would want us to be at our best, to exercise our gifts, to be ourselves.
But things get in the way. Our guilt. Self-doubt. Fear. Our wanting to please others. And we lose sight of the bigger picture, of the reason why we were given these gifts in the first place.
I believe we have our gifts not because God wanted to be creative, but because we were meant to give. To give to our families, our friends, our classmates, our colleagues, our teammates, our church members... For in giving, we live up to our highest potential. And guess what - in return, we receive the fruits of the gifts of others! It's like a barter system; you give, I give, we all receive!
That way, this world that we live in will be a better world. A world where nothing is lacking. A world where people don't need to go through desperate measures to receive love. A world where people are continually blessed and blessing others. A world where people genuinely love and care for each other.
You see, when God said His creation was good, He was absolutely right. He created systems that were meant for our good. But it's sin that came in and screwed the entire picture. People began to be selfish. They let their personal feelings stop them from being themselves and using their gifts. In return, they received short-sightedness. They focused on short term goals. And they ended up wondering why is life such a tiring thing.
While I have absolutely no idea how to fix the world in its entirety, I know I can begin with myself to bring change to this world bit by bit. Then like ripples, (I hope) my efforts will encourage others to give, to be a blessing to others.
I urge you then to not forsake your gift. Instead, practice and give it as a gift to those in your lives and may they be blessed by it. For freely we got these gifts and talents, freely we give to our friends. This world, I believe, will be a better place when we give.