On our daily drive to school, my children and I spend the few minutes between our house and the carpool line in prayer. Some days they like to pray, and on other mornings they are tired or cranky and less enthusiastic. We begin our prayer in thanksgiving and spend time asking God to look after others, but also to look after us.
We ask God to help us be ‘good stewards of the gifts and talents He has given us’. I think I added this specific line to our prayers at the beginning of this year. This morning, my sweet boy decided to ask me what ‘steward’ meant – which, of course, at first led me to wonder to myself what he thought we’d been praying for all year. I kept that little thought to myself and instead turned to gratitude for his being inclined to ask and want to know.
I explained to him that being a ‘steward’ meant that we were taking care of or looking after something – something that usually belonged to someone else. We then talked about how God – through his grace – gave us the gifts and talents that we all have. We all have beautiful things to offer this world and everything in it, and that each of our gifts has a very specific purpose in order to help create harmony. I explained to my son that the gifts and talents that we have are a gift from God and that, by giving us these unique abilities, He wants us to use them for a greater good and to their fullest potential – so, in that sense, we are to be a ‘good steward’ of our abilities.
My heart was warmed as each child began to list off what they believed to be the gifts and talents they possessed. I reminded them that it was important that they be respectful and appreciative of those gifts and to only use them for a greater good.
Discussions like these make me stop and ponder whether or not I am using my gifts and talents to their fullest potential. Truthfully, I’m not sure I have ever sat down and listed what I think that these might be… which suggests that I am likely not only not using them to their fullest potential, but may not also be always using them for a greater good.
Perhaps its time for a period of discernment to prayerfully consider these gifts and talents and determine where it is God would like to see me use them in His name and for His glory. How wonderful that a simple conversation with children can lead us to an opportunity for deeper thought, consideration and discernment.