Fan the Flame
So, I’ve finally decided it’s time to do that thing within me, that gift, that has been in me all along … Yes, it’s time to write. Why now? Well, I’ve been encouraging my niece to write. She truly is gifted. She has a way of expressing herself with words that draws you in to her experience. She really needs to be writing. It would be a shame if she didn’t. So, I encourage her every chance I get. It truly is a God-given gift. My dad, a pastor, defined a gift as something to which there is “maximum effectiveness with minimal effort.” Wrap your mind around that … something you do that doesn’t take extraordinary effort and yet you are really effective at.
Writing has been that thing for me. From early days folks always commented that they enjoyed my writing. For my son, it’s music. From the time he was 3 years old he has made music – good music. He sounded out Ode to Joy on a kiddie book keyboard. Perfectly. That is truly a gift. And, like my niece, I have encouraged him to develop and use it. God gave it to him. I suppose my wise father modeled and encouraged me throughout my life that we need to use that which God has given us.
My dad was a minister who, after some vocational tests, found that he scored off the charts in mechanical aptitude. At first my dad thought this was “from the devil.” Then he began to restore some cars as an avocation – on the side. And he loved it! He’d been missing this outlet for years. You see, for him the gift from birth was taking things apart and putting them back together. So, prayerfully, bravely, he exited the pastorate to create a car business. Many scratched their heads. This couldn’t be God’s will, they said under their breaths, or to his face. Yet, in the 20 years my dad had his car restoration business he was able to minister to people who would never darken the door of a church. All the training my dad had received was brought to bear as he “ministered” to his customers. God doesn’t waste a thing. As scripture says, “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
So here I am writing. I’m fanning the flame of the gift God has given me. I wonder, what is that thing that is in you? The quality or skill that has always been there, that folks comment on? Is it a welcoming spirit? A compassionate heart? The ability to explain things effectively? Perhaps it’s the gift of hospitality? It may be one of those gifts mentioned in the bible, and perhaps it's something else altogether. What has God given you especially, and what are you doing with it? At 60 some years old, I am bravely, finally, writing. My 10th grade English teacher said I should write, and countless others after her. I encourage you; I exhort you, fan the flame of that gift that God has given you. “…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…” 2 Timothy 1:6. It’s time.
I’ve found that being in a community group has given me so many opportunities to find out about my spiritual gifts. I’ve been in a group for a number of years now (20ish) and since I feel safe there, I’ve been able to facilitate the group study at times. I’ve also helped decorate when our group went to the Women’s Tea (not sure what “spiritual gift” that is (lol)). The gals in my group have become safe and I feel like I can trust them. I don’t ever feel like they will judge me. If I mess up, I know they will still accept me. I believe that’s what community (the Body) is all about. Shout out to my community. So thankful to do life with you!
Find Your Community