I just returned from a Writer’s Conference where I had the opportunity to review and discuss the work of many gifted writers.  It was such a delight to see their passion and their hearts for their work.  It was also interesting to note how many of them were so incedibly humble and uncertain as to whether anyone would value their efforts.  All of us who strive to put our talents to use have moments when we wonder if its worth it.  As I thought about that, I began to picture a pinata, a beautiful piece of artwork designed for a special purpose.

Did you ever attend a party when you were a kid where you got to smash a pinata?  You know, it was a cool paper mache donkey or smiley face or something chock full of candy and little treats and you could hardly wait to break it open.  It provided a unique experience.  Imagine what would happen if a pinata was not used for its purpose.  What if people only looked at its shape or form, its colorful exterior, but never looked inside, never tried to break in and see what gifts it contained?  Imagine a talented person living a life like that.

Sometimes I imagine we too become outward forms, appreciated for what others know of us on the surface, but largely missed for what we’re really about, never quite known from the inside.  Our greatest gifts could well be stored within us waiting for someone to push the right button, hit the right moment when we’re ready to share who we are, and suddenly find out that we are full of amazing gifts.  How sad it might be if we never shared those gifts, if no one ever tapped into our best selves.

The beautiful thing about having a relationship with Our Creator is that He already knows us from the inside out.  He sees our exterior form and understands that it’s great packaging, but knows full well that the best things about us are really coming from the inside out.  What goes on in the heart is far more important than what goes on for the world to see.  Our best gifts are demonstrated more fully in the divine nature.  Sure, we only have a taste of that nature, a little of it based on the Spirit within us, but the more we let it out, the more we share that Spirit with others, the more successful we are at living full lives, living up to our purpose and potential.

Sometimes I have a need to remind God that I’m just made of string and paper, kind of like a pinata, and that I won’t be here forever.  That being the case, I’m happy when He causes me to step out of my shell and lift up the gifts He’s given me.  Those moments actually come as a surprise because there are often more gifts inside than I even knew were there.  Funny, how being willing to expose those things makes more of them appear.  Tapping into your gifts may feel tricky sometimes.  You may even feel like it would take a person with a blindfold and a big stick to find that part of you, but whatever it takes, the gifts are there, ready and waiting to be shared.  They are the sweetest and best part of you.

As James 1 says, “Every good action and every perfect gift is from God.  These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows.  Whether your gifts are about writing, cooking, or just being a wonderful human being, they are meant to be shared.  There’s no one anywhere quite like you!