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Have you ever lost track of time? Do you know that moment in which you look back at the end of a day or a period of time and wonder how time flew by so quickly? That is a sign of a talent – when we use our talents, time passes by more quickly, the steps come naturally to us, and we wonder “how did I learn to do that?” The talent research that underpins Strengths­Finder describes a talent as a “naturally recurring pattern of thinking, feeling or behaving that can be productively applied.”

Growing as a good steward of talent begins with awareness. Yet, in facilitating days in which people explore their talents together, I know that many of us have been taught to downplay the things we do well. We do this out of a false sense of humility, which really is not about humility at all.

The humble person recognizes that all of life is a gift from God, to be used wisely, given back with increase, to the greater glory of God. Humility focuses our attention on the Creator and puts all of life in proper perspective. This is exactly what happens when we become attentive to our talents and learn to build on them, developing strengths and using them in life, ministry, and service.

We recognize the gift and the Giver of all good gifts, and in doing so, we hold all things in proper and holy perspective. The next time you lose track of time, pause for a moment and recognize the talents you were experiencing in the process. Say a prayer of gratitude for the gift of that talent and ask God for the grace and wisdom to be a good steward of the talent in the future. This is the path of the humble, talented steward!