The look of satisfaction on both of their faces when they finally emerged clearly showed how much they'd enjoyed using up Dad's extra photos. As far as they were concerned, the thought of letting the camera take three empty shots would have been a waste beyond measure.
At $1.75 per picture, I tended to agree. It may not be an enormous amount of money, but if you've got something just waiting to be used, you may as well go ahead and make the most of it!
It only makes good sense doesn't it? Yet how many of us are wasting the gifts and talents that God has made available to us? How many are not stepping into their full potential in Him? As Christian men and women, we're accountable for what we do with the investment God has placed in our lives. It's an investment He's made not for our benefit alone, but for the common good of the Church. As the Apostle Peter wrote:
"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
~ 1 Peter 4:9 NKJV ~
Why do so many fail to use their God-given gifts? For some it could just be that there's an uncertainty about what their gifts are. If that's the case, then they need to find a way to uncover them. There's not one Christian who hasn't been given gifts for the glory of God and the building of His church. The fun part is discovering what they are.
For some it may be that they're waiting for someone in leadership to recognize the gifts in their life and give them something to do. This definitely does happen at times, but not always. We need to make ourselves available, but also be open to God's leading. One of the greatest breakthroughs in my understanding of this came when I realized that I'd been looking to man for promotion, when in fact it's God who promotes and directs (Psalm 75:6-7). We just have to be paying attention.
Then there are those who feel that they are either just too young or too old to be of any use. This is perhaps the biggest mistake of all. God will use His children no matter what their age. He called Samuel when he was just a boy, and used an aged Abraham to build a nation. In God's eyes, age is never a determining factor Obedience, willingness and availability are!
The list of reasons could probably go on and on. Insecurity, hurt feelings, lack of training, lack of encouragement, lack of motivation - perhaps you can think of others. But whatever the reason, if we aren't using our God-given gifts and talents, then we're wasting the precious and valuable resources that He's entrusted into our care.
Makes $1.75 for photos seem pretty cheap by comparison. Yet how eagerly the children ran to make sure we got as much value for our $7 investment as possible. Our eagerness to give God the full value for His investment should be immeasurably greater!
If you're a child of God, then there's one thing I can say with full confidence. You've most definitely "got it". You've been given everything you need to become everything God created you to be. So if you've got it, there's just one thing needed, and that's for you to use it!
After all, to do anything else would really just be a waste.