The American writer – Henry David Thoreau, spoke about the responsibility that comes with our having received talents and abilities from God:
Once there was a king who had three sons, each with a special talent.
The first son had a talent for growing fruit. The second for raising sheep. And the third for playing the violin.
Once, the king had to go overseas on important business. Before departing he called his three sons together and told them he was depending on them to keep the people contented in his absence. Now for a while things went well.
But then came the winter, a bitter and cruel winter it was. There was an acute shortage of firewood. Thus the first son was faced with a very difficult decision. Should he allow the people to cut down some of his beloved fruit trees for firewood? When he saw the people shivering with cold, he finally allowed them to do so. A God Nod
The second son was also faced with a difficult decision. Food became very scarce. Should he allow the people to kill some of his beloved sheep for food? When he saw the children crying out because of hunger, his heart went out to them and he allowed them to kill some of the sheep. Thus the people had firewood for their fires, and food for their tables. A God Tap
But the harsh winter continued to oppress them. Their spirits began to sag, and there was no one to cheer them up. They turned to the third son, fiddler, but he refused to play for them. In the end things got so bad that in desperation many of them emigrated.
Then one day the king arrived back home. He was terribly sad to find that many of his people had left his kingdom. He called in his three sons to give an account of what had gone wrong.
The first son said, “Father, I hope you won’t be mad at me, but the winter was very cold and so I allowed the people to cut down some of the fruit trees for firewood.” And the second son said, “Father, I hope you won’t be mad with me because when food got scarce I allowed the people to kill some of my sheep.” On hearing this, far from being angry, the father embraced his two sons, and told them that he was proud of them.
Then the third son came forward carrying his fiddle with him. “Father”, he said, “I refused to play because you weren’t here to enjoy the music.” “Well then”, said the king, “play me a tune now because my heart is full of sorrow.”
The son raised the violin and bow, but found that his fingers had gone stiff from lack of exercise. No matter how hard he tried, he could not get them to move.
Then the father said, “You could have cheered up our people with your music, but you refused. If the kingdom is half-empty, the fault is yours. But now you can no longer play. That will be your punishment.”
What talent and ability has God blessed you with this Lent?……
Keeping others feeling warm and appreciated?
Feeding others with your time?
Lifting up their depressed spirits?
Today? This week? This month? This year?