Monday, September 24, 2012

Faithful with a Little

Part of the "Devotional Thoughts" series. Go to the list of Labels in the right sidebar and click "Devotional Thoughts" to browse the entire series. Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version.


In the second half of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25), Jesus tells three parables. The second of these three is the famous Parable of the Talents. A man goes away on a journey, and leaves three of his servants with five, two, and one talents each; the first two servants use the money to end up with twice the original amount while the third servant buries the money for safekeeping. Upon his return, the man rewards the first two servants and condemns the third.

I have recently been very convicted by this story. As readers who know me are aware, I have had continuous professional employment in my field of training since I graduated, though I have not yet secured full-time employment (or full-time equivalency in part-time jobs). This has been a source of some frustration for me, because my feeling is that not yet having a full-time job in my field is inhibiting my career advancement, delaying the time when I can start graduate school, and so on.

In the meantime, as I have been convicted, I do have substantial responsibilities, even if they are not full time. I do have students who need teaching and many other commitments that I need to meet. How can I ever expect to advance in my career if I do not demonstrate competency with these part-time commitments? And really, at least I am working in my field, a situation not shared by all my young adult peers. And I happen to like all the various things I am doing. (This was the gist of the pep talk I have given myself a lot recently.)

I see myself as either the servant with the two talents or with the one. At this point in my life, I have not been entrusted with a full-time job, but I have been entrusted with many part-time engagements. I can either bury the talent ("wait" for a full-time job to drop into my lap), or I can apply myself diligently and faithfully with what I have. My prayer, naturally, is that I will do the latter, like the servant with the two talents. After all, he ended up with four talents, which is not far from having the five with which his fellow began.

What "little" things has God entrusted to you - and will you be faithful with them until God entrusts you with more?

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