I cringe every time I hear the parable of the talents.
Something weird happens in my stomach.
My face is all crinkly right now just thinking about it.
I'm the servant who buried the money. I badly want to be the one who invested and multiplied the master's cash, but I'm not. I took his talent, held it tightly in my fists, put my tail between my legs, and sprinted off to find a good hiding spot.
God gave me a great talent for rationalization (still waiting to see how that can be put to good Kingdom use). I can convince myself - and probably you - that the very best thing to do right now is to put this coin deep in the dirt, where no harm will come to it, where it will be waiting for the master when He returns. But the real reason for the digging and the hiding and the burying is FEAR. Same as the guy in the parable. He was afraid. I am afraid. He is me. I am him.
I have written since I was about six years old - I started with poems. And I kept writing. Poems, stories, songs. A lot of them I keep - tucked away in a drawer or in a box or in a file (I recently ran across a floppy disc with writings from my junior high years - those may be lost forever - it's probably for the best).
I have twice now reached over 20,000 words trying to write the same novel, and twice I have let it dry up.
I made a blog, wrote on it for an entire year, and shared it only with my mom.
I have been afraid for a very long time. But I'm doing life a little differently now. I'm getting my hands dirty, I'm digging up talents and starting to invest. It is scary. And also a little exciting. I kind of want to do it more.
Burying is easy and investing is hard.
Burying is the coward's way out. Burying is not humble. Burying is selfish.
Burying is listening to the evil little voice who wants to shut me up. Investing is telling that voice to shut it.
But people don't want to hear what you have to say . . .
You're totally right, billions of people won't want to read what I write. This is why I don't plan on tying the abstainers to chairs and clothes pinning their eyes open until they absorb my words.
But you really aren't that great of a writer . . .
So what? Moses sucked at public speaking and Gideon only had 300 men.
Everything I have belongs to God. This includes my words. He gets the final say on what I write, where I write, and who sees those words - not me. It is not humility to hide them in a drawer, it is pride.