The Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25:14-29
‘For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
I have learnt an interesting lesson from this parable. Seems it has taken me half my life to ‘get it’, but now that I have, I know I must do something with it.
I was very blessed as a young girl growing up on the farm. Every morning my brother & sisters and I would get on the school bus at the bottom of our drive and tootle off to our little country school which was about 20 minutes down the road depending on whether we were on the ’long road’ or the ‘short road’. The school bus route alternated every week so every second week we had to go up another windy shingle road on the way to school.
Every Friday afternoon the girls from Year 3 through to Year 6 would have sewing classes with a lovely lady called Sue, while the boys would play sport outside. Those were my favourite days. I was a bit of a natural. We all started off with a coloured piece of hessian and learned how to stitch basic embroidery stitches; running stitch, stem stitch, cross-stitch, advancing to feather stitch and double/triple feather stitch as we made our way down the cloth. Those completed cushions took pride of place on our window seat; they really were a work of art, and most of the families in our district who had daughters at the school, would have had these cushions on display for years.
We progressed from hessian cushions to hessian wall hangings and from there we had our first sewing machine lesson and we made a shoe bag, then an apron. We weren’t all blessed with natural ability…my best friend at the time really struggled with making her apron and spent most of her class time unpicking. One of our teachers had a baby who would crawl around the floor and one day thought the sewing machine foot pedal was a great new toy. The sewing machine just took off all by itself, much to Sarah’s horror, all over her apron. I’m quite sure she was put off sewing for life after that!
However I took to it like a duck to water and ended up making ragdolls, nighties, and even a brunch coat in my last year of primary school. Often in the weekends and holidays I would set myself up in the bedroom and sew all of my own clothes and I learned to become quite proficient and fussy with my skills. I have a lot to thank Sue for, as well as my own mother; between them they set me up for life with a gift and talent that these days is coveted by many who either had mothers who had no patience or time to teach their daughters to sew.
I have always sewn, and have always loved making things for friends – covers for kitchen appliances, oven cloths & mitts were given for every engagement present, and I loved making clothes for my boys as they were growing up. As the boys moved on from home made trackies & sweat shirts, I turned my gift more towards quilting and patchwork projects, and often had friends around at night to teach them a few sewing skills that I had picked up.
So for me, sewing has been a natural gift, which I have always taken for granted. At times I have thought about teaching professionally, but the time was never quite right until quite recently. I always considered my gift as just a craft that I enjoyed doing in my spare time.
It was 6 months ago when I moved to this new region, and happily in a new relationship, that my honey remarked on how many bins of fabric and sewing resources were stacked up in the spare room untouched. He recognised these bins of potential hidden talent that had been long buried in cupboards, not earning any interest, and he has been instrumental in encouraging me to bring out these ‘talents hidden in boxes’ and do something with it.
I enquired of the Lord as to what and how I could use my talent to create an income, and my direction has been to basically use the resources I have, and the God-given talent that He has given me, to make something out of nothing. Most sewing buddies I know have a ‘stash’ and I must confess, there is no shortage of fabric and haberdashery in mine! So I am taking what I have and have started to sew. Daily. Some of the things I have made thus far are not my most favourite things, but through discipline and motivation, I am starting to learn what I love to create, and indeed what other people will also love to buy. I recognise now that my happy place is sitting behind my sewing machine creating, or dreaming about the next project.
I hope somewhere down the track I will be able to share some of these projects with you. At this stage I am just laying the foundation of where I have come from. I realise now that the gift which I have always taken for granted is admired and appreciated by those who don’t have it.
We all have a God-given gift, whether we recognise it or not. My aim on this blog is to help you recognise what your gift is, and how can I encourage you to make that work for you?
Perhaps it’s in baking cookies; perhaps it’s caring for the elderly. Maybe it’s in growing vegetables or making wooden boxes out of scrap pallets. It could quite simply be that you are an awesome encourager, counselling those who are going through trauma. Needless to say, it’s time to find out what it is that takes you to your happy place where you feel FULL and satisfied, that what you are doing with your life is indeed fulfilling and where you just know is where you are meant to be.
My biggest regret is that it has taken me almost 55 years to wake up and smell the roses – but I am happy to announce that this is the platform from where I hope to launch from into my future, and there will be no turning back!