Once upon a time, a young teen bought her father an ITunes gift card for Christmas out of money that she had earned on her own, working retail after school & on weekends. The man carelessly threw the gift card into a basket where he deposited his keys & spare change after work every day, & there it sat. And sat. And sat. 

For months it sat there, until the young lady finally asked him when he was going to use it to buy the music that she had desired he have in order to brighten his days. That was her intention, not for the card to sit there & collect dust. For whatever reason, the man stubbornly refused to spend any of the money on the gift card, leading the young lady to think that he did not appreciate her gift to him. It may not have been a lot of money to him, with his large salary, but it was a very large sacrifice for her to make out of her small pittance earned working for minimum wage. 

A year went by. Then another. Periodically, she gently reminded him of her gift, & made it clear that she really hoped that he would use it as it was intended, rather than miserly storing it away. Yet another year passed, & with sad resignation, the teenaged girl, who was by now a young adult, accepted the frustrating fact that the man was probably never going to use his gift for its intended purpose. It disappointed her, & made her feel that he was ungrateful for what she had done for him. But she had grown up enough to know that there was nothing that she could do to make him use it. The very thing that she had given to him in order that he might experience some enjoyment was just going to go to waste, but she understood that it was his choice as to how or whether he spent the gift card. 

It is that way with the gifts that God gives to us. He gives us talents that He wants us to use to enhance & better our own lives. But many of us toss them aside & leave them to gather dust, like the gift card in the coin basket. How must our Father in Heaven feel as He looks down, wishing that we would pick up those gifts & find the pleasure which He intended, rather than letting them go to waste? How must He feel when He sees that our free will is interfering with His best for us? I imagine it must be a little bit like that girl felt. I imagine that He must feel a wistful resignation as He watches us walk right past the gifts that are within our reach, yet without a thought, leave them untouched & unspent.

What about you, my friend? Are your gifts being used, or are they going to waste?

“Life was meant to be spent, not saved,” – D.H. Lawrence 

– Lou Lehman Sams 


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I am a Southern Belle, through and through. Born and raised in North Alabama, where my family settled in 1808, when the area was still the Mississippi Territory, I come from a line of Planters, Patriots, and Pioneers. They were people who were unafraid to take risks, who said what they believed, and who honored God and their Country. Like my ancestors before me, I have strong values, believing that the Golden Rule is indeed golden. I write as a way to relate and as a release. I hope that my words may inspire, challenge and provoke one to thinking about how extraordinary things can come out of ordinary places, people, and things.

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