Links Daily Devotional

The Gifts You’ve Been Given

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servantsand entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.” (Matthew 25:14-18, ESV)

One day while leaving the Temple area, Jesus pointed to the walls and declared there would be a time when not one stone would be left standing. As he continued on through the Kidron Valley and up to the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked: “‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?’” (Matthew 24:3, NIV). Jesus settled into a long narrative where we find the familiar parable of the talents—a story picture of how we are to endure through difficult times and live with anticipation of the Lord’s return.

Recently I heard a message on this parable that both affirmed and encouraged my heart. It also challenged me to ponder how I am stewarding my own God-given talents. These talents create opportunities for us to go about doing God’s business and require us to take action in order to make a difference. And just like the servants in the parable were held accountable for their master’s money, we too will give an account to God concerning what we did with our talents.

When I retired from the LPGA tour, I walked away with an attitude of contempt toward the game—I didn’t want to talk about it, play it, teach it, or watch it. I was tired of golf. I was thankful for the opportunity to play with the best women golfers in the world and for my career, but I was unable to appreciate the abilities God gave me to play at such a high level of skill. I was like the man who received one talent; I wanted to dig a hole in the ground and hide it (me) away.

As I honor my life story with truth, my longings and desires are reawakening. Instead of resisting where golf belongs in my life apart from the tour, my softened heart beckons me to seek open doors of opportunity where my golf skills can be used to make a difference for God’s kingdom—places where I can enter into relationship with others and share God’s love.

God is answering. This year alone I have gone on a golf missions trip to Kenya and Uganda, I have given golf clinics and shared my faith journey, I am mentoring younger golfers, leading small groups, and currently working through a Lay Counseling Certificate program. It has felt risky to enter into these places of vulnerability. Yet it’s the path toward hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Whether you’re a golfer, a teacher, a salesperson, an executive, a laborer, or a homemaker, you have been given unique abilities to make a difference for the kingdom of God. May I encourage you today to embrace your abilities, to pray for opportunities, and then risk taking action for the glory of God.

Tracy Hanson

October 1, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.