There are things that come naturally to some of us, but not so much to others. You might find it really easy to open up your home and life to the people around you. Or you may find hospitality totally draining and prefer to leave it to the people who like it. From learning to creating to performing, music or painting or writing or cooking or listening or building — we have some beautiful gifts in this world. Hopefully it brings us joy to use those beautiful gifts to be a blessing and it brings others joy to receive from the overflowing cup of our giftings.
We know that we’re blessed to be a blessing. And I hope you’re convinced that God doesn’t have a second string or a “B Team”.
Sometimes, even the things that we’re very gifted at don’t come easy. While words very often feel like they come through my fingertips before my brain fully considers them, sometimes I stare at the screen, wanting to write, but not wanting to write. Knowing there is a gift that I ought to be stirring — perhaps through reading or writing or thinking or praying — but there’s also a wall there, and it holds me back and I feel unable to move forward.
But writer’s block isn’t just for writers.
Sometimes we stare at the wall for a while. We think about whether we can go around it, or go over it. We want to continue to create, to use our gifts, to bless, to enjoy, and we hope to find a way to move forward. But the wall doesn’t always move easily. And we sometimes get stuck on the wrong side of it.
The things that used to bring us joy begin to bring us dread. The thing we used to call our passion might start to be called a calling or even a duty or worse still an obligation. And this thing that was once so full of life feels like death hanging around our necks. It’s a soggy fish out of water, facing the frying pan with a frown on its face.
If the thought of pressing on, along the road with your gifting, makes you feel like a frowning fish right now, I’d like to make a few suggestions.
Change your route. Have you been travelling the same way, doing things the same way for a long time? Could you add or take something away from your day to day, considering the old saying that “Variety is the Spice of Life”?
Look for some new destinations. What are your goals? Are the things you have to do the biggest hindrance to doing what you want to do? Get creative, and think about how you can spend more time doing what you want to do every day (or even once or twice a week, for starters.)
Pull off at a rest stop. Perhaps it’s time for someone else to be a blessing, and time for you to let yourself rest (and maybe recover) and find the heart to be a blessing again.
Stop and ask for directions. Talk to someone else who creates. Even Edison had an off day. Perhaps Mozart was moody. You may be surprised that the people around you who never seem to miss a beat have walked through something similar.
Make sure you’ve got the right map. Pray some good, honest prayers. Talk to the Creator who gave you the gifts that you have, and let Him know how you feel about using them. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies — we create false obligations for ourselves — and we hold ourselves back when it’s time to move forward. Do His plans feel like hope and a future? If not, maybe those are your plans.
Before you start hanging pictures (or spraypainting graffiti) on the roadblock that’s holding you back, take the opportunity to re-engage. Re-evaluate. Re-examine and re-think. You’ve got something to give, and when it ain’t easy, that’s often a sign it’s a good time to step back and take a good look at your map.