These past few weeks I’ve noticed a trend. A trend in the conversations I’ve had along with the thoughts I’ve stopped to think about. The two have obviously decided to link and get me thinking. The subject matter has been the gifts we carry.
Not gifting in the sense of birthdays or weddings but gifting in a spiritual sense. Things like feeling the need to show kindness or compassion towards others. Or maybe you love giving your time to others? Serving people through conversation or cooking meals, even doing odd jobs for them.
These are all gifts that come from within us. They come from the heart. We all have them there, the key is to work out what your gifts are, the challenging part is then to use them!
It was Pablo Picasso who said;
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”.
For me it has taken a while to discover what my gifts were. Like most people really. I believe my heart wants to give my time to others. To make sure that they are okay. I want the best for all of those i consider closest to me.
Not only do I feel a need to give my time to others, to help them out when it is needed but I feel a duty to listen, to encourage and to be a positive example. To also support them by simply being there. Sometimes it’s not what you say, sometimes your presence is all that’s needed in supporting someone.
These are just a couple of things i believe that I’ve developed as I’ve searched for the gifts that I myself carry. My heart feels a purpose is filled every time I can step in to that place, doing things that don’t necessarily benefit me but instead benefit others.
Love is a big word. Perhaps over used but my hope is that all of us do not understate the word and what it carries. I had two very different examples of it come across my path in the past two weeks.
First, i got talking to a young lady after church a couple of Sunday’s ago. She’s from Finland. She has visited our church a couple of times as our church has a relationship with the Christian campsite that this lady is working on. I’ve visited the campsite many times now so we had a common ground to relate from.
As I got talking to her she revealed that she had a real heart to love others and to show love to those she came across. I could tell it was very important to her.
I get that. I completely agree.
It struck me that here was a young lady, far away from home, believing in something so strongly that she was committed enough to take the action of leaving a lifestyle she knew, and was comfortable in. Here she was on the other side of the world using her own gifting and no doubt making an impact. I appreciated this conversation.
That’s what Picasso was getting at when he encouraged people to give away their gifts once they find it. The key is to make something of what you hold. Especially if you believe it is valuable!
The second example of love which moved me occurred towards the end of last week. I attended a funeral service of a much loved and respected member of our church. She was 93 and had lived this incredible life of love and dedication towards her family.
Her daughters and grandson spoke of a women who selflessly did so much for those she loved most. It reminded me first that families should always be built on that foundation. That when family comes first you end up with a commitment hopefully built on love and love always wins in the end.
But it also made me think about the purpose we carry in our own lives. It reminded me that nothing much matters in this life if our hearts aren’t in the right place. When we leave this earth one day we all want to believe we made a difference or left behind a legacy that was admired to the point that others not only saw it but felt it was important to uphold the examples we left behind.
What those two moments i shared also showed was that the gifts we carry don’t have to be big or even headline grabbing. It’s more about the situation you use them in. This is where the impact is made. Sometimes it can be something simple which makes a big difference.
Having the ability to see a need like buying someone even a loaf of bread can be impacting. It makes an impact because love was present. You had a heart which was willing to gift someone else a part of you. That’s a special thing!
Whilst giving someone something because you simply wanted to do a nice thing for them may be easy, giving them something because you saw a need isn’t always an easy thing to do.
Because it requires you to step out in to a place where you’ve shown your heart. Good deeds are always a nice idea but being brave enough to show that side of yourself can be daunting. You can quite often fool yourself into believing it’s not necessary or that it’s insignificant anyways.
Don’t let it fool you! Do it because it feels like the right thing to do. Do it because it feels like a nice thing to do. Don’t do it for any sort of expectation or result. Do it because gifts are meant to be given.
That is the example I’m trying to set. I want people to see that the things I do are not really for me or about me. It’s about compassion and showing empathy towards anyone i come across.
Because I believe this is an important trait to show. Because I’d like to believe that someone would do the same for me, and they have and continue to do so. Perhaps it’s how the world is meant to interact with each other? By simply being there for each other.
No action or deed is too small.
No person is ever above or below another.
No situation should ever be deemed irrelevant or insignificant.
Fact. We’re all in this together. If the meaning of life is to find your gift. Then the purpose becomes the challenge. The purpose is to give it away to those around us. For that’s how it’s intended.