Everyone is a gift to the world, a neat package of talents, passions and even weak areas, that, if realized and fulfilled, would make a real difference in this world. God has created each of us to be a certain kind of person, to pursue certain interests, to contribute with all of ourselves to life just by doing what we were created to do and being who we were created to be. Our gifts and talents are needed in the church, in the whole church of Jesus Christ and in our home churches. If we withhold ourselves, our full selves from our church, then the church is poorer for it. It is not a matter of donating time or money to the church, it is about giving all of who we are to what we are doing.
While we were created to be a gift, the package has been wrapped in a variety of experiences over time that obscure the gift or make it hard to access: the childhood conditioning of family and teachers which requires the suppression of many good instincts(for the sake of training the child to be able to live successfully in our culture), the imprint of the culture and whatever experiences, especially traumatic or negative, that we have had, mostly in the formative years.
Somewhere inside of us resides that core essence and the potential to realize it. I believe that it rests in our soul, the mediator/communicator between God and us. In the soul lies our potential just waiting to be realized. There lies our purpose, the meaning in our lives. We can live our lives without a glimpse of this essence, a sure sign that the packaging is more important than the product. We can ignore the signs and signals it sends up to remind us of who we are, because we’re too busy or too identified with the culture and conditioning to answer the call.
The spiritual journey, walking hand in hand with Jesus Christ, invites us to bring the suppressed parts of ourselves to light with the goal of wholeness, access to all the energies and passions and talents as yet unfulfilled. On our own we can go a little way down this path, but the ego is still in charge and its ability to surrender itself is limited. Only the healing and transformative power of Christ is able to complete this task: only as we place ourselves more and more in his hands will we find our small, egoic nature transformed into a more loving, more complete person. What are we giving up in this transformative process?
v Dependence on other people to set our agenda and purpose.
v Anxiety over things that we can’t control.
v The feeling that something is missing or amiss in our lives.
v And more.
And what do we receive?
v A feeling of completeness in ourselves and an interdependency with others.
v A rock-solid faith in God and in life itself.
v Connectedness to all creation.
v The ability to give all of ourselves without depleting our resources.
v The ability to negotiate all of life’s demands gracefully: family, work, volunteer jobs, friends, etc.
v An easy flow between being and doing.
v And more.
We are given the tremendous gift of life by God. In traveling the spiritual journey with Jesus we give back the gift of ourselves, the fullness of who we are and what we were created to be. So the Giver and the gift are fulfilled.