Sunday, September 19, 2010

I’ve always thought Max was a smart dog, but he really impressed me one day when my husband pulled out the treadmill do his running.

Determined to get in shape for a ski trip we are planning over spring break, my husband has been running faithfully for about three weeks. Each time he turns on the treadmill, Max sits next to him, watching the belt speed by. Worried that he might try and grab the belt with his mouth, or get his paw stuck, I usually encourage Max to move away. But today, I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to him…until my husband called my name.

“Come see what your dog is doing,” he huffed.

So I went into the living room to watch. Max took his squeaky, carefully set it on the front of the treadmill, and waited patiently until the vibration of my husband’s pounding feet knocked it onto the belt. The squeaky then shot off the back, sailing into the air a good foot before hitting the ground. The moment the squeaky fell onto the belt, Max dashed around to the back of the treadmill and tried to catch the squeaky before it fell to the floor. Over and over he pulled the same trick, each time coming just a little closer to catching the toy. My husband got to laughing so hard he had to stop running.

“Now that’s talent,” he said.

“No kidding. I need to write a Max’ism about it.”

Basically, I thought it was such a neat trick I wanted to tell people about it. I didn’t want to hide Max’s little “talent.”

Which got me to thinking. God has given each of us a talent—something He wants us to use for His glory or the furtherance of His kingdom. What are we doing with the gifts He’s given us? Are we showing off our talent—using it for Him? Or are we hiding our talent, content to keep it buried where it’s of no use to us or the One who bestowed it?

If I’m serious about serving the Lord, I going to have to use everything He’s given me, even if it means digging up “an old talent.”

Matthew 25:14-30 (New International Version)

The Parable of the Talents

14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'

23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'


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