Sunday, 16 November 2014

Parable of the Talents

Sunday Reflection (no.5)
By Susanne Timpani

Author of Writing Fiction for Dummies, Randy Ingermanson, has created a formula for increasing a writer’s odds of success: ‘Fiction Writing = Organization + Craft + Marketing.’ (AdvancedFiction Writing E-Zine).

Organization: No writer can ever be successful unless they actually sit down and produce some work. While procrastination is possibly the biggest hindrance, it is also the one factor we have total control over. Writers need to be organized and sit down and write.

Craft: I may have been born with a writing talent, but if I don’t invest in developing it, the standard of work I produce will never improve and few people will ever want to read it. There needs to be time in my schedule for developing my skills.

Marketing: If no one knows my work exists, how will it get read? As much as writers tend to recoil from the very word, ‘marketing’, it is a hard reality that comes with the trade.

How awesome it would be to hear Jesus congratulate me for using my talent like the servant in today’s Gospel reading. In some texts the word silver is used and not talent. Either way, Jesus' point is just the same.

 "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made." His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master's happiness."

How awful it would be to hear Jesus bemoan me for being lazy.

"Sir," said he, "I had heard you were a hard man… so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back." But his master answered him, "You wicked and lazy servant! You should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have got my money back with interest... As for [you] good-for-nothing servant, [you will be] thrown…into the darkness outside.’
(Excerpt taken from Matthew 25:14-28)

We all have talents. Some may be destined for the public arena, but many belong in the realm of everyday life.  How generous am I in sharing my talent with others? How committed am I to live life at my maximum potential? 

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.
Susanne Timpani