Wednesday, August 1, 2007
I took my two boys to the pool yesterday. It's always a good place to see and hear things that make you laugh, and things that make you think.
I had noticed this inflatable dolphin - you know, one of those pool floats that kids can ride in the water. It had been floating aimlessly in the pool, when my eldest son swam over to it and climbed on. Not ten seconds later, we were all subjected to the blood-curdling scream of a 3-year old little girl - pointing to the dolphin and repeatedly shreiking, "Get off! That's my dolphin!" Now, we had been at the pool for more than an hour at this point, and the little girl had been playing on the opposite end of the pool - paying NO attention to her wandering pool friend. But, the moment someone expressed an interest in HER toy, she wanted it.
As a parent, I chuckled, because I see this all the time with my two boys fighting over Matchbox cars, Tranformers, the TV - you name it. But, while adults may not react this way over a silly toy, in many ways we do prefer to keep things under our thumbs - particularly our personal gifts and skills. We may have a one-in-a-million talent or gift that has been wandering aimlessly in our "pool," having gone unused for years. And, the moment someone notices we have this gift, we pull it back and say, "that's mine." But, I really don't think selfishness is the root - it's fear. It's the fear that once my gift is "exposed," I will no longer be in control. That I'll no longer be able to use it for my benefit.
God meticulously designed each and every one of us, and gave us things he gave no one else. But, He never intended for us to keep these gifts hidden. He gave them to us so we could bless others. So, go on...let someone else enjoy your gifts. Remember, sharing doesn't only apply to kids!