How Do You Do What You Do?

     How do you do what you do? Perhaps you’ve asked your wife or your mother this question during the hectic Christmas season. Maybe you asked your dad this question when it dawned on you how hard he was working to keep the family going. And then there are the super busy kids at school or a teacher (if you are a kid in school) or the people you work with every day that seem to just “get things done.” Isn’t it amazing what some folks are able to do?

     Now, think about the things you do. Think about your day, how it begins and all the things that you do every day in your “normal” life. You have some mighty busy days too don’t you? So, let’s go back to the first question: How do you do what you do?

     Human beings stay very busy just keeping life together. If you take the time to run lists of all you do each day you soon see that living is quite an accomplishment. Add to that the times in life when we move through education and make career choices and get on with doing our jobs. Very busy. Then there is the “personal” side of life. We have our families and our friends that occupy our mental and physical energy. If we are blessed with a wife or a husband there are the many things we do to benefit that special relationship. There is a lot to do.

     How do we do it? I am asking that we think about this question: how it is that human beings function the way they do? And, as you might expect, I am certain that we cannot consider that question apart from the fact (yes, the fact) that we are created by God (Genesis 1:27). God made us in His image and He made us able to do all that we do.

     You have certain abilities that you came to recognize are part of your makeup. If you are wise you develop these abilities to a point where you can function with a good level of efficiency. The development of your talents is your responsibility. But that you have these abilities is the result of the grace of God. If you can look at a machine and envision how it can function better or see immediately how to repair it when broken, thank God for that ability. If you can read a book efficiently and make good use of its contents, thank God for that ability. You may well enhance your talent with practice and experience, but God made you able to do so.

     So, when we ask “how do we do what we do” the answer begins with “God made us able.” From that start we have to think about what we do with our abilities. If I use the word “talents” in place of the word “ability” you may be able to see where I am going with this. The “talents” of Matthew 25:14-30 were sums of money. It has done us good that this particular word for money was used in our translations here. It helps us make a good point.

     We do not know the precise equivalent of a talent of gold in our money but the people who study such things tell us that a talent is a measure of weight that could be about 75 pounds (33 kg). By that measure a talent of gold would be worth over 1.5 million dollars. It’s easy to get sidetracked by numbers; think instead of the money symbolic of blessings and responsibilities bestowed by the master on his servants.

     The Lord is our Master and He has given all of us our strengths and abilities, our “talents” in the non-monetary sense. These things are ours to do with as we will. But the lesson of the parable is plain. If we develop our talents and use them well we will be rewarded. If we do not there will be trouble. There is another and most important application. God has given us the ability to see truth in creation and in the Bible (Romans 1:20 and 10:17). This is the most important talent we have. And it is the one talent that will bless us eternally.

     So, how do we do what we do? God makes us able. Thank Him for that and do your best.