#25Gifts: What about those times when you can’t do what you really, really want to?

Like much of the world, today my thoughts are with Nelson Mandela’s family.

Such a big figure who did so much, I’ve been struggling a little bit with how best to continue his example. We won’t ever match his legacy so you’d be forgiven for wondering what the point is.

What if legacy is less about what the world says about you after you’re gone and more about the impact you make each day? (Click to tweet)

Bringing this all back to this pre-Christmas warm up, I got to thinking about how this time of year, as wonderful as it is, can sometimes get a little bit frustrating.

There’s so much to do and so much you want to do (and no, these two aren’t always the same things!) and never enough time.

Spending nearly 30 years in prison, Nelson Mandela had all the time in the world. The stuff that will get in your way today, the demands made upon you by your family, the busy, he had none of that.

But still he couldn’t do what he wanted to do.

He couldn’t give a hug to the people he loved most. He couldn’t continue fighting in the way he had when he had his freedom. He probably couldn’t even choose when he got up and went to bed each day.

He’d have been forgiven for throwing in the towel.

“I can’t do it now. I might as well just give up.”

No one would have blamed him.

And today, no one would remember him.

Jesus told a story about three men who were given money in different amounts. The word used in older versions of the story though is ‘talents’ which sounds so much like ‘gifts’, it’s got to be about more than just the cash.

The men were given the money and left to do with it what they thought best. The first two doubled their money but the third hid his in the ground because he was scared. And you guessed it, he was the one who was criticised.

“You didn’t even put it in the bank where it could have gained interest.”

Or in other words, he didn’t even do the absolute bare minimum.

It was never about how many talents each man had, it was about what each chose to do with them.

You might never have the talents of Nelson Mandela. You might be living in very trying circumstances right now. You might wonder what the point is. You might feel like giving up.

What does ‘putting it in the bank so it can at least gain interest’ equate to in your life? What’s the bare minimum?

Can you do that?

Just because right now you can’t do what you really want to doesn’t mean that you never will but if you give up now, if you hide that talent of yours in a hole in the ground, you might never dig it up again.

So don’t give up.

Keep on keeping on.

You might never have the legacy of Nelson Mandela but you can make an impact in your world today, and every day. Minute by minute. God helping you.

Are you ready?
Let’s go!

Until tomorrow, keep smiling,