Luke 21:1-4 says, "While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
I happened to read these verses at tea-time in the prison tonight and was thinking about them an hour later when I was listening to a conversation between two prisoners. One of them was asking the other to help him write a C.V. for him to apply for a job on release. He admitted that he had never had a job in his life before (he's not particularly young but has been in and out of prison since he was a teenager). The guy he was asking to help him pointed out that there were lots of things he'd done in prison that he could mention in his C.V. and promised they would work on it together tomorrow.
I couldn't help making connections between my Bible reading and that conversation. Earlier in the day I was at a 4-hour long meeting at which I'd been marvelling at the intellect and gifts of many of the attendees.
(When I was a wee girl, I used to think it must be great to go to a "meeting". I wasn't very sure what a meeting was, but I wished that I could go to one. Now at the grand old age of 21... well okay, 45... I have been to lots of meetings and am considerably less enthusiastic!)
However, my experience of meetings, my experience of people and my experience of church has led me to the conclusion that it isn't what gifts you've been given that matters, it's what you do with them. The meeting I attended earlier today caused me to marvel at the combination of great gifts from God together with a commitment to serving Him. Wonderful!
A meeting I attended recently (in a different venue) was very different and caused me to reflect less cheerfully on the combination of great gifts and talents together with a lack of respect for God's ways. Not good!
God's far less interested in our ABILITY than He is interested in our AVAILABILITY.
1 Corinthians 1:27 says, "Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful."