On my quest to revive my spiritual life and get my creative juices flowing, I stumbled upon a YouVersion devotional titled, “Exit”.
Exit is a 10-day devotional by Wande, a recording artist at Reach Records, going through the different seasons of walking with Christ and how to trust in God through those seasons. Each day is a devotional personally written by Wande to encourage and provide actionable steps to help you walk through those seasons in your relationship with God.
I recently started this plan and have only read the first devotional and I already feel spoken to. Wande used the parable in Matthew 25:14-30 to back up her first message. She wrote about fear and its firm grip on us which is our chief restraint from doing the things we have been called to do.
Back when I was reading Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo gave insights into what it’s like to feel afraid. She explained that fear is not restraint. She pointed out that fear can be a good thing and we can impede ourselves from referring to every feeling that propels us backward as fear. Sometimes, those feelings may be associated with excitement. What derails us from taking action is waiting for the fear to loosen its tight grip on us while we sit back and do absolutely nothing.
In the early days of 2021, I was reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert which I chose because I wanted to set my spirit high and giddy up for the big 2021. One of the reasons I did not finish the book was because it was preaching fear all over again. I was already fed up. I understand that I was there. I was going through that phase of mental inertia and deep uncertainty and wallowing in it, but I was already tired. Tired of reading every author’s take on fear and how it’s bad for me and everyone else. I tried their action plans or maybe not but those weren’t what I wanted to keep seeing each time I picked up any book that wasn’t a novel.
Wande’s plan spoke to me on a whole new level because she delivered her message from a biblical point of view and that made all the difference. She used the parable of the talent. The first thing that stuck with me as I read the passage was, “He gave them each according to his ability”. Just the way I need you to see it. What if I am not just pulling backward? What if I am simply unable to do the things I feel scared to do? What if that feeling isn’t of fear but incapability? Matter-of-factly, it’s not as though I am holding on to this blithely, but isn’t that what it is?
Boiling down to when the master returned and asked the servants to give accounts of how they used their talents: The servant who got five talents invested it and got an extra five. The second, two, and two more. The third who got just a talent could not have accounted for five extra talents like the first servant if we’re to judge accordingly. We’d hope he gets around double of what his master gave him, even though he didn’t. I like to think the following are the reasons he acted the way he did:
- He probably felt small and unimportant.
- He was not humble.
- He lacked gratitude.
- He wasn’t strategic.
I just might be stuck where I am now because I identify immensely with this servant.
Some months ago, I watched an Instagram live session hosted by Alma Asinobi and Bolaji (Socialmediaoga). On that live, Alma talked about the times when she created GIFs video content and how she was unable to do so now because she wasn’t consuming as much content as she did before. She simply could not give what she didn’t have. Input equals output.
The two other servants were smart enough to invest their talents so they yielded them more talents. They did not harbor any hard feelings for their master. All their efforts were focused on pleasing him. Are my intentions and efforts God-driven? Am I seeing that my plans are in line with God’s plans for me? If not, maybe I should exit.
- It is not always fear that hinders.
- I must not have the ability to do everything and that’s okay.
- What enters the body through the mouth, exits through the anus. The body cannot give out what it didn’t take in.
- Whoever has will be given more and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even the little they have will be taken from them.
So, Jesus is legit saying that if I am anything like the man who had one talent, that even the little that I am clinging to and refusing to invest or harness could be taken from me and given to someone else who already has plenty. I find this very disturbing and difficult to accept.
My friend, Rhoda Byrne, in her book, The Magic, identified this “stuff” as gratitude. Hence the quote changes to: “Whoever has gratitude will be given more and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude even the little they have will be taken from them.
When I am grateful, just like the other servants, all my motives would gear towards pleasing and making my master happy. I should not lie around feeling small, insignificant, and unseen. I should not lie around with bitterness oozing from my pores as I suck my teeth at people who have plenty. I should not lie around pretending to be scared because I am not. It’s about time I exit and walk on the path to personal acceptance. I should accept that there is a limit to what I can do and that’s fine. I should identify my abilities regardless, analyze my strengths and weaknesses and start using them to the glory of my master because he is seriously counting on and rooting for me.