Wednesday 1 January 2014

The Gift

I have a gift
It dawns on me daily as I write that I have a gift, a great gift like talent put to my care, to tend, to nurture, to grow, to use, to do many things to the glory of my creator.
They call it cognitive dissonance, the idea that we believe what we cannot logically explain, inexplicable but wondrous. Yet all around us nature breathes miracles of order and disorder, my perspective not dimmed that as order prevails over disorder, each day is a blessing to be thankful for.
Unforced expression
I know the power of originality, the spontaneity of inspiration, the presence of flow that comes with each moment I set my fingers to my keyboard with a thought seeded in my mind and growing on my screen as if possessed of something beyond conscious arrangement.
For many a time, I have started with something and ended with something else, the direction like a boat on the water, resting on the rocking of the waves even though a rudder ensures we reach the place, the place called a destination.
The gift comes in the first draft, a rough diamond of a gem, if that draft is lost to the ravages, imperfections or careless use of technology, I am left with signs that a gift has been used but I can never reproduce that original stream of inspiration. My memory only recollects what it believes it has seen rather than what my brain has first processed, it remains a wonder when I read back to myself what I have done.
The talent
Yes, the gift shows up in many of the things I have written, that is because of use, it is not because it has been perfected but because there is a realisation that ability exists. God-given ability.
Then I confessed to a niece as I have confessed to a friend and maybe too many others in one way or the other about this gift. For it is not one that comes for the reason of money, of fame or of glory, for it brings something greater, it brings honour. I have learnt to be grateful for the absence of popular recognition but the abundance of honour from those who know and know it well.
“I am coming to the realisation that somehow I have been blessed with a gift, yet, like the one talent given to that servant, it has been buried for the fear that I might not use as well as I am supposed to.”
Such great honour
Each time I recognise the blessing of the gift I have, I feel like the servant who was given just one talent according to his ability.
I know I am no accomplished author, no distinguished writer, no recognised commentator, I would win no prizes, I would make no lists, but the gift has enduring quality. Buried as it seems to be, the talent has not increased like it increases for many whose talent feeds them, but its value is undiminished.
One talent, used for over 10 years, giving words to deep things of experienced life from the ordinary to the deep, from the joy to the pain, and now, I come into 2014 full of gratitude as I unearth this one talent and pledge not to be fearful and ungrateful, but to find ways to use it better and increase it.
To give voice to the voiceless, to give hope to the hopeless, to encourage those facing defeat, disease, despair, disgrace, debt, denigration, denudement and much else, for I know by experience and observation many of these things have tried to take cornerstones in my life, but have been smashed to smithereens.
As I began writing this, I was listening Steven Furtick of Elevation Church on the New Year’s Eve party and he said, “Count your battles* and consider them blessings.” @stevenfurtick
*The battles that didn't beat you
*The beatings that didn't break you.
This is God
This is beyond counting our blessings, and yes I have had battles, prominent amongst them is my battle with cancer in 2009. I have had many other battles and beyond measure I am blessed above anything I have ever deserved to wake up each morning to new life, to new hope, to new things and new inspiration.
That is grace, that is favour, that is mercy, that is kindness, that is love, and that is God.
Take it or leave it, believe it or not, because Albert Einstein is considered one of the greatest minds that ever lived, soon after he died, his brain was removed by Thomas Stoltz Harvey for analysis. Then, he did not think there was much special about the brain until recent science suggested differently. [NPR]
In the knowledge of 1955 pathology, that gray matter was no different from that which we all have except for what the man who lived in the body that had the brain did with it.
Know your gift
And so, as we realise the gifts bestowed on us, let us know to use them better for application, for usefulness, for increase, for good, for honour, for goodness, for humanity and for the glory of God, whether you believe or not.
The talent you have is useless when there is no life in the body that needs to utilise and express the wonder of the unique and amazing gift you have. Each of us is unique, as you can read from the stories shared on my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series, 24 to date with 11 stories to go to commemorate my Decade of Blogging.
Use your gift
This gift opens doors, as I was made to realise after discussing how I got 35 people out of 44 confirmed interactions to submit blogs from the 9th of December to Christmas Day inclusive.
This without as much as a strict deadline but through sheer persuasion with the greatest latitude given them to write anything that takes their fancy. I am blessed, and I am thankful, full of gratitude the gift has not given me enough words to express yet.
You have a story, you have a gift, you are talented, let it shine. That is my resolution for 2014, to be as expressive as I can ever be of this amazing gift and bring increase to the talent placed in my care. My responsibility can no more be left to others to wonder why it is being wasted or being left unused. Think on this.
Happy New Year, Happy 2014.


ZoneFitness said...

Thank you for this article Uncle Akin. This is the first article I read in 2014, it's going to set the tone for the year.

Happy New Year :)

Nkem said...

Great thoughts to kick off the new year. Thank you for sharing, Akin.

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