Aloha Friday Message – February 8, 2008

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“He’s a really gifted musician.” “She is certainly a gifted writer.” “He has a real gift of preaching.” “Her gift to the world is her humility.” “He personifies the gift of love.”

We often say these things when we recognize someone as being special, exceptional, and very talented. They gain notoriety for the way they perform, or live, or work, or share their lives. We would not know about the gifts people have unless they do two very important things: First, they have to accept the gift. Second, they have to share it, use it, and make it public.

A gift is something that is transferred from one person to another. It is “paid for” by the giver and not by the person who receives. Yet if the gift is given and received, the one who receives give honor to the giver by accepting the gift, and so we exchange gifts by giving and receiving. If a gift is given but not accepted, then the giver is demeaned. A gift cannot be a gift if it is not accepted freely without sense of obligation to return a gift or payment. Nor is a received gift meant to be horded.

The gifts we have are intended to be shared. If someone gives you a bouquet of flowers, it is more meaningful to you if you display those flowers where others can also enjoy them. If someone gives you a car, you want to show it off and take your friends for a ride. If someone give you love, it is worthless if you don’t share it with others, especially the one who gave it to you.

God gives us those gifts that we admire so much in others – and in ourselves if we are honest. Remember these passages?

James 1:17… all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.

1 Cor 12: 4-11 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5 there are different forms of service but the same Lord; 6 there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7 To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; 10 to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

For some of us there are many gifts. I’m sure each of you knows at least one person who seems to be able to do almost everything with grace and style. And you know that because you participate in receiving those gifts in some way. If they were not generous with their gifts, the things that they can do would be unknown to you. God invites you to be generous with the gifts he gives you. And here is the cool part:

All of God’s gifts come as a kit. The gift and everything you need to be able to use it effectively come together in one package. Not only that, but he also gave us an instruction manual. Remember “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”? Yep. The B-I-B-L-E. He also gives us living examples of how to share and appreciate his gifts – Tradition and the Lives of His Holy Ones. You don’t have to be canonized to be a Saint. You just have to accept and to use God’s gifts. You use them by giving them away. In the image above, what part is the part that has been given? What is the part that has been lost? How much more is there to give? And does giving it away mean we get emptier or fuller? Think about these things as you enumerate the gifts hat have been given to you: Have you accepted all of them? How do you know what they are? Are there some more out there – or in there – that you have not yet accepted? How much have you given? Is that enough?

Well, that’s enough for right now, of this little message anyway.

Remember to say “thank you” when you get a gift and “please” when you want one. The gift of love is probably the best gift of all, and you can even give that gift to yourself, especially if you have accepted the gift of love from as many people as possible. (And how many is that?)

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved …
chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

One Response to Aloha Friday Message – February 8, 2008

  1. i have just now read the Aloha Friday message from 2008. And yes I am working on giving back AND “passing the buck” – Forward!! I am learning to listen more – and NoT always be yakking!! It is actually a joy to give stuff away. Especially to those we are seeing more & more of now at St. Catherine’s Wednesday Food Pantry!

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