Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Gifts - and making Martin Luther a little pissed about those darn donuts.
If you're not familiar with what Pentecost is, click here. OK, yes, it's a link to the wikipedia's Pentecost page, but it explains Pentecost in a nutshell without sounding all preachy and stuff.
Anyhow, this day is frequently referred to as the Birthday of the Church. What do we get on our birthdays? Cake, yes. And what else? That's right, presents. Yay presents.
I grew up in the church. When I was a kid we went to church every sunday, rain or shine, sick or well. We weren't allowed to spend the night at our friends' houses on saturdays because we had to go to church on Sunday. We couldn't stay up and watch Fantasy Island because it was on too late and wouldn't be able to get a good night's sleep to be awake for church. We also had to go to 8am church. My mom didn't want to go to 10:30 church because she said too much of the day was gone. When we started going to Bethany, my two oldest sisters either said they had to work, or they didn't live with us anymore, and they stopped going. My sister who is just older than me and I still went every Sunday. They would make us go to Sunday School while they went out to breakfast. We were always late to Sunday School, and sometimes we'd skip it because we spent too long sneaking over to St. Cyprians across the street to get doughnuts, and yes, we spent all our offering money at the Catholic Church getting doughnuts. I asked my mom once (only once) why she and my dad didn't have to go to adult sunday school while we went to regular sunday school. She said they didn't need to go. As I got older I realized it was probably one of the only times during the week they got to spend alone together. With 4 kids, they probably didn't get to spend much time without a kid around. But still, they should have gone if they were going to make us go.
Anyhow, back to the presents.
Growing up I was taught that God gives us gifts, special talents. These gifts serve two purposes. One - they serve as proof that God exists, Two - using these gifts praises God.
Growing up I was always really pissed off that I didn't have a gift. I don't play any musical instrument with any particular skill - I used to play the flute and I strum on the ukulele a little bit but I'm no Herbie Mann or Jake Shimabukuro. I like to cook, but I'm not the best cook ever. I can sing without breaking glasses or making dogs howl but I won't be making any gold records. I can hula dance, but most of the people I dance with are way better than me. I can acquit myself well on many things, but I wouldn't say that any of these things are my gifts.
The pastor on Sunday talked about a type of gift I hadn't realized. It falls under the first category of gifts - they serve as proof that God exists. He said that anyone can learn how to play the piano and they can become quite proficient if they practice for 6 hours every day. Anyone can accomplish just about whatever they set their minds on. It doesn't mean that that one thing is their gift. It just means they practice a lot. That's not to say it can't be their gift, it just means that it might not necessarily be their gift.
A gift, he said, can be sprung upon you at any time in the form of showing courage at a time when it is really needed or having the gift of debating someone when you aren't really known for making great arguments.
So, I'm still waiting for mine. Maybe I have it already and I'm too stupid to see it. Maybe it's just germinating inside me and it'll pop out of the soil soon. Maybe it'll be sprung upon me at a time when I need it most.
I'm cool to wait. I'm paid by the hour.
Brought to you by Andrea
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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?
Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.
Rest assured I make no money from any of it.