I just made a trip to the office supply store for a new set of folders and two boxes of my favorite ballpoint pens. Don’t they just make you want to get busy and organize something? I love office and school supplies. They evoke the feeling of that first day of school every year during childhood when I would carry in a big bag of brand-new pencils, notebooks, rulers, paste, and other goodies, and then arrange them neatly in my new desk. (Never mind how the inside of the desk came to look after a few weeks.)
The reason for this most recent purchase was the need to corral the mounting stack of papers that keeps growing on my work table. Tired of riffling through piles, muttering, “I thought I put it right here,” I decided to whip those papers into order by categorizing them into labeled folders. I am aware that like the supplies in my childhood school desk, everything won’t stay put in these folders. There will be escapees, strewn hither and yon about the house.
No matter how foolproof my system may seem, when life happens, not every piece of paper will make it to its folder. And then there will be all those bits and pieces that don’t quite belong anywhere and up in the folder labeled “miscellaneous,” which over time will become fat and hard to find things in.
But the thought that hit me as I took the new supplies out of the bag and stacked them on the table was that no matter how appealing they look, they’re not doing a thing for me unless I unwrap them and put them to use. They have no value until I do something with them.
So it is with the many gifts God has give us – talent, money, time, resources, and information, as well as spiritual gifts. They’re not meant to be put up on a shelf and admired. He intended us to use them, and to enjoy using them to bless others. He says, “As each has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). So let’s be aware of the blessings God has given us and look for ways to pass the blessings on to others.