This past weekend, my youngest sister ran her last four races as a high school athlete.
It’s been a crazy, wonderful four-year journey for her, that we are all so thankful for. And this final State Championship was perhaps the craziest weekend of competition in all of her high school years.
There were injuries and failures.
There were triumphs and victories.
There were obstacles overcome and obstacles that proved too large.
I spent pockets of my weekend almost-obsessively checking the live race updates and texting my mom for information.
And as I watched the highs and lows unfolding, with all the injuries and stresses and joys in between, my prayer was that someday these seniors would look back and be able to say, “That crazy state track meet my senior year of high school was a big moment. God taught me a lot and not just about running.”
Because I believe that God speaks into our lives right where we’re at, through our passions and pursuits.
Because at the surface running might seem like a frivolous waste of time and energy. But who could stand and look these passionate, talented girls in the eyes and tell them that using their God-given talents is a waste?
And who could deny the lessons God has taught them through their four year journey of high school running?
Because God gives us each talents and passions and when He also gives us the context in which to use those talents, who are we to say no?
I believe that when God gives both a talent and an opportunity to use it we are to step into that boldly, because He intends to use it in us for His glory.
I also believe that when God gives a talent and passion but asks us to lay it down, we are to obediently let it go, because He, again, intends to use it in us for His glory.
It can be so easy to look around and see how God can use someone else’s talent, someone else’s passion for His glory, but to view our own passion as frivolous.
Conversely, it can be so easy to look around and judge someone else’s talent, someone else’s passion because we can’t see how God will use it for His glory like He is using ours.
But both of these are wrong.
God gives talents and passions liberally and distinctly to each of us, and He desires to use them all for His glory.
Your talent may be too flashy.
Your talent may be not flashy enough.
Your talent may look frivolous.
Your talent may be weird or quirky.
But your talent is given by God and can be used by God.
Only you know your talents.
Only you know the passions God has burned deep into your core.
And only God can show you how He wants you to either use or surrender the use of those talents for His glory.
And only God can take those talents and use them for His glory by working in you and through you.
So what does God use?
He uses all the little details and intricacies of who He made you to be…or He will if you will follow Him into the places He has prepared for you and prepared you for.
Will we follow Him?
And will we trust Him enough to obey?