Tapping into Gifts

For years, decades actually, I’ve been trying to learn Spanish. One discouraging drawback is that I couldn’t roll my “r’s.” Nothing I was told or read on the Internet helped. Then last week, without even giving it a thought, I pronounced the word for “guitar,” and the “r’s” rolled! It was not at all how I thought it was done. This achievement gives fresh impetus to my mastering Spanish. It also made me feel very good about myself. Writing a novel for the first time last year had the same effects. Now I’m wondering what other new, surprising things await me on my life’s journey. Maybe I’ll learn to swim!

We each are allotted a certain number of years to experience life. To a great degree, what happens during them is in our hands. We are also endowed with the potential to learn, to create, and to add to the world’s goodness, beauty, and love. We can waste our days and let them slip by, one boring day after another. A friend recently compared this to living with the snooze alarm on! On the other hand, we can fill our days with meaning and purpose. We can let our God-given gifts decay, or we can activate them. If you have an angelic voice, then sing, for God’s sake! If you have a flair for writing, then sit down and write an article. If you have a way with people, then volunteer at a hospice. And let’s summon up the courage to explore the possibility of new talents. What if Grandma Moses never picked up a paintbrush? What if Beethoven didn’t go to his first piano lesson? What if the Blessed Virgin Mary said, “Oh, no. I couldn’t be the Mother of God.”

By the way, one contribution we can make is to encourage or challenge someone else to try something new. A woman I happened to meet one day invited me to be an usher for the Cleveland orchestra. That invitation led to three years enjoying great concerts.

When has something new you undertook added sparkle to your life? How did you come to try it?




  1. Sr. Juliemarie McDonald, SND on March 19, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Wonderful encouragement! Besides, I had a great morning laugh when I also read SND School Humor. Thank you so much for a delightful wake-up, rather than a snooze down. Jm

  2. Kathleen Glavich, SND on March 19, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this week’s reflection. Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Now there’s someone who used his gifts.

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