The Cupboard of Unwanted Gifts

I love the satisfaction on ticking things off a list. It makes me feel extremely content, and a little bit self righteous. I have fought a battle against myself, and won! I have beaten my own criteria for doing well that day! I am victorious!

However, this week, my lists have not satisfied me. Because I have been avoiding something.

Leaving the icky thing til last taints all of the other things on the list and makes them feel less satisfying because I know that’s not what I should have been doing, really.

I have had one particular item on my to-do list for the last 5 days; evidence indeed of my proficiency in procrastination. Well today I have finally run out of things that I would prefer to do and cannot stand my constant sense of guilt any longer. I am reduced to doing the thing that I needed to do the most in the first place.

This blog.

Now this may surprise you given the content of this blog so far, but I really, really love writing. I love it because I’m good at it. I spend time every day doing things that I’m not very good at, like The Tube, and getting up in the morning, and trying to be kind to people who make me cross. These things need doing but we should play to our strengths too; it’s really good to do something that you’re good at, that you can do really well, that is one of the pieces of jigsaw that God put together when he made you.

I know when I start writing, and get into the swing of it, I’ll enjoy it and I’ll usually be able to do a good job. I’ll feel like I’ve stretched my wings. I’ll feel like I’ve been properly alive. I’ll feel like my brain and heart and eyes and hands are awake. I’ll also feel frustrated, and lost, and uncomfortable along the way.

I believe that God has given me a gift and I know that we should use the gifts that he gives us, even if they’re not easy to use.

 At home we have a ‘Cupboard of Unwanted Gifts’. Really, a whole, large cupboard. We got married a year ago and I confess, some of the gifts that we received will probably live a long and unfulfilled life in that cupboard. We appreciated the kindness and generosity of our friends and family but sometimes we simply didn’t need or want or like whatever it was we had been given.

William Morris said:
 ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’

Sometimes you get given presents that aren’t useful or beautiful. And I think it’s ok to put them in a cupboard, or if you’re really brave, Ebay them.
It's not ok to not use good gifts just because you're lazy, or scared.

When I don’t write, it’s like I’m putting this precious gift which God has given me in my Cupboard of Unwanted Gifts. Which is wrong, because it’s a gift that I'll enjoy. A gift that will not run out but only get better as I use it. A gift that is both beautiful and useful. It must be, because God gave it to me. God doesn’t give his children rubbish presents. The gifts he gives us may not be easy, but they are always useful and beautiful. 

What are your gifts?

What can you give the world that will be useful and/or beautiful?

How often do you tell other people of the gifts that you see in them, and encourage them to use them?

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