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The Settled Account

Mon, May 12, 2014

For most non accountants, the word accounting sends a cold shiver down their spines and other not so pleasurable feelings. And for those of us who choose, or well,…find ourselves bringing the bacon home from that ‘hallowed profession’ we are reviled and feared possibly in equal measure.

While most of our minds will possibly make a beeline toward to Judas and the money bag should accounting be mentioned in the same the context as the bible, there seems to be more use of the bean counting skills beyond tampering with the books in the parable of the talents. At the end of the parable we see the Master, returning and calling His servants to give an account.

As I grew up, I must have read and listened to sermons drawn from the parable of the talents countless times. In the well-worn story, the Master entrusts three servants with talents as he heads out on some journey, one with five, the other two and the third, one talent. This story always comforted me, that while I may not have five talents, or even two, surely I must have one. At least one! There is nobody without a gift or talent!

While this comforted me for a time, it would later turn into a sore area in my relationship with my Lord. Why one measly talent? Yes, at that time I had somehow come to the conclusion that I was the servant who was entrusted with only one talent. One especially thorny bone I needed to pick with my maker is why he choose to deny me a singing voice. Now, note, I do not have my sights set on the Grammy’s or even our own East African Tusker Project Fame, just something decent that would not embarrass me in church. I could mention other gifts such as pragmatic leadership, political ambition or passion for human rights. All those things that I think I lack due to some oversight on my makers part.

I ended up looking down on what I had and not seeing it as anything much or as something of value, worth investing in or nurturing so that it can be used to bless others. I saw any possible talent that I could claim as contemptibly small and meager. Indeed for many years I treated my uniqueness, my gifting as nothing. As of no value…one measly talent worthy only to be buried in the ground!!

How can I be sure mine is not small? Insignificant? That it can be put on the table together with those of my friends and neighbours? Are what I have actually talents anyway? A question of worth, aren’t some of us of more worth than others? Why can’t I be like them?? Why can’t God have given me even a half of what he gave them??? The Charisma, ability to be at ease with people, the confidence. For years I have believed that whatever talents I have are not the good ones! They are merely left overs…after others got the first dibs in the talent pool.

In a most serendipitous encounter I met Brene Brown in her “Gifts of Imperfection”. She literally held me by the hand in beginning a journey of “letting go of who I think I am supposed to be and embracing who I am”. She spoke to me about wholehearted living and said stuff like, “if we can’t stand up to the never good enough and who do you think you are? We can’t move forward. And that whole hearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.

So, off course the bible says there is a servant who got one talent…but what if it was not? What if it was merely different? What if the value placed on it is only to help us humans understand…What if one represents 100…because I have never seen a one-talent person, off course except myself.

So, if like me you may have thought that your talent or gift is only one, ask yourself, what if they are the five? And then, no matter how many they are, what will say you did with them?? Because the master will come and then there shall be a settling of accounts and from the parable it’s clear that thinking your talent is only one and hiding it safely will not fly.

You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
Our Deepest Fear, By Marianne Williamson (A return to love)

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9 responses to “The Settled Account”

  1. Wow that is a powerful way of reminding me to be content with who I am and not hang up on who I think I should be. Blessings to you as you use this one of your many talents to ignite others

    • Thanks Ciru again for encouragement and excited that something resonates. May we be faithful with what we have, never mind what we would have wanted!

  2. Interesting. So there are other people who feel like they have only one talent like me which am not really sure of. But in everything, i thank God. He has a purpose of each of us.

    • That’s the amazing thing, how we think about ourselves and the reality. Because I definitely would not say you are a one-talent person. That is where the community comes in…affirming our gifts and encouraging us to use them.

  3. Thank you – that was powerful. Could not have been more timely for me. This one talent that I am not even sure about, let me put it to some work. I will be accountable!

  4. I love your writing. Very moving. I just tried to leave a comment on your ‘Little Stories’ but for some reason, it disappeared. Keep writing . We need these good stories & you have a great way of making them picture clear. I am a newbe blogger but I started by using my childhood memories for little stories & am loving writing about it. Not looking too far ahead of that…yet. Keep writing I will be back. Check out my site if you like. Blessings! Lane
    @ Memory Lanes Site:

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