A king went into his garden, and found, to his amazement, wilted and dying trees and shrubs and flowers everywhere.
Asking the oak the cause of its withering away, he was told that it was dying because it could not be tall like the pine. Turning to the pine, he found it drooping because it was unable to bear grapes like the vine. And the vine was dying, because it could not blossom like the rose.
To his surprise, he found the hearts ease blooming as fresh as ever.
Upon inquiry as to why it was not dying as were the other things around it, he received this reply: “I took it for granted that when you planted me, you wanted hearts ease. If you had desired an oak or a vine or a rose, you would have planted such. So I thought since you had put me here, I should do the best I can to be what you want. I can be nothing but what I am, but I am trying to be that to the best of my ability.” The story goes that the king was greatly pleased.Use what talents you possess
Henry Van Dyke said, “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang well.”
James tells us that we should “be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18).
This alludes to the offering of the firstfruits, as recorded in Deuteronomy 26:1 – 11. The Hebrew farmer was instructed to place the firstfruits from his field in a basket, and take it to the priest. He would then worship the Lord at the altar, expressing thanks for the promised harvest. In a similar way, we bring ourselves to Christ, and He presents us to God. James is reminding us that every spiritual gift and ability is from the Lord, and we should honor Him by being faithful with what He has given us.
“The biggest cemetery in the country is where unused talents are buried.”
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