What I'm Reading Today: Genesis 40-41
I half-heartedly joke with loved ones that I am a person who has very few talents. I don't cook, I don't have an eye for fashion or interior design, I'm not good with my hands, and I have little mechanical ability. You name the talent –chances are I am lacking in that area.
There are two things with which I have been blessed that have gotten me by over the years. Each of those talents is very different from one another. The first talent I have is that I am a good accompanist on the piano - one that over the last 30 years has been able to inspire the groups I play for to sing better than they ever thought they could by getting them to lighten up and express themselves. It's an unusual gift for me to have since I was classically trained – and many classically trained musicians have a difficult time accompanying others since they tend to focus more on the printed music before them than they do on the dynamic relationship between the printed page, the pianist, and the singer(s)/instrumentalist(s). The second talent I have is my intuitive ability to work with people. Another way of saying that is that I'm a people person. I'm good at reading folks, saying things in ways that people can hear them, and understanding the dynamics at play in many group situations.
While I have been given lots of kudos over the years because of these talents, I have a hard time receiving compliments in these areas because I don't feel that I can honestly take credit for my work. These things are simply things that come to me.
Because of my experience with these talents, I can relate well to Joseph in today's passage. After word of Joseph's ability to interpret dreams gets out, there is a moment in the story when Joseph is brought before the Pharaoh - who then said to Joseph, "I've heard that just by hearing a dream you can interpret it." Instead of letting word of his reputation go to his head, Joseph responded by saying, "Not I, but God. God will set Pharaoh's mind at ease."
That moment of clarity about his talent was a beautiful thing – one that reminds and inspires me to put my talents into perspective as well.
Today, I would encourage you to use Joseph's story as a tool to motivate you to explore your own talents. What are those things in your life that you do well that come naturally or intuitively? When you find such talents, take a moment and give thanks for them and the way they flow through you to brighten the lives of others.
Til next time …