Each of us has received a gift, but it doesn’t come assembled. Instead, you have to do something to use it. It is like Christmas gifts with hundreds of pieces and vague instructions.

I was finishing 8th grade when I was required to take an “aptitude test.” I did not need a test to tell me what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I would fly, so I did not take the test seriously.

A few weeks later, my parents received a note from the counselor setting up an appointment to give the results of the “aptitude test.” We all crowded into the closet-sized office to get the verdict one afternoon.

According to the test, I would succeed in areas requiring verbal skills. Some of the jobs in that area included writer, teacher, and preacher.

None of those appealed to me, or so I thought.

The counselor suggested that I take speech in 9th grade. She signed me up with my grudging agreement.

Now, I look back to that event 53 years ago and grin. I did not realize that God made all people a certain way with particular abilities.

However, we don’t always recognize them.

In Exodus 3, a lone figure herded sheep through the Sinai desert. In his first life, he dreamed of being a leader/deliverer. He tried it once, and it did not work out.

He was intrigued when God crooked his finger and summoned him through a bush that burned without the smoke. Then God told him, “I made you a deliverer. Go and tell Pharaoh to let my people go.”

Moses balked. He made excuses: “I am not eloquent and am slow of tongue and slow of speech.” In short, I can’t because I am no orator.

But the Lord’s retort chided him. “Who made man’s mouth?” God said, “I made you with the gift of speech, but you don’t know it yet. Go try it out.”

The great lesson of life is:

God gives us a gift, but we have to develop it.

And that is hard. It demands we do awkward and unfamiliar things. We feel like a right-hander having to use their left hand. I had to stand in front of a class with sweaty palms…for several years…before I was ready. I hated every moment of it…until I loved it.

Such is the nature of the gift. It is yours to shape or ignore as you choose. But the tragedy is so many ignore it and deprive the world of the gift that God gave.

You have to try several times before dismissing it with “I can’t.”

If you say, “it is hard,” Don’t give up. Blow on the spark to make it flame to life.

But if you say, “I don’t like it,” you accuse God doesn’t know what he is doing.

So, what is the gift God gave you? But more importantly, what are you making out of it?