Over the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the talents and abilities I have, and how to use them. This week, I was exposed to two individuals and one group that have been changing the way I think through this topic.
One individual is Nathan Feuerstein, a Christian who is known as the hip hop artist NF. One thing I noticed right away when listening to NF is his talent – he seamlessly flows through fast and complex rap lines, and does so with incredible passion. I also noticed that his songs are very honest and real. I instantly related to many of the lines within his songs.
This weekend, I talked to a woman who was once a counselor for a camp that NF attended when he was much younger. The woman explained that the campers there created a group chant as a camp activity, and NF led the charge in creating the lines for it. The campers ended up making a chant so memorable that the woman and NF recalled the chant word-for-word when they saw each other several years later.
This story caused me to think about the idea of using your natural abilities. It was clear from an early age that NF was very good at writing lyrics and expressing those lyrics through rapping. And now in his songs, he talks about his passion to use those abilities. Songs written by NF challenge me to build up the abilities God has given me and do the absolute best I can with them.
A group that also provoked thoughts about talents was The 100 Voices of Gospel. This choir appears in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent competition, and have now advanced to the finals.
The group has received raving remarks from the judges. Some were even hinting at the divine, such as when Alesha Dixon said that everything the choir represents “is my idea of heaven”. The crowd seemed to express a sense of joy and awe. Seeing that type of response was incredible to me, especially in a country that people do not consider to be “religious”.
The 100 Voices of Gospel causes me to realize that talents don’t have to be diminished because they’re used in a church setting or are under a “Christian” label. When amazing talents are used to praise God, it creates an environment that people respond to – one that gives them a glimpse of the spiritual realm.
The last individual that provoked these thoughts in my mind was Candace Payne, known now as “Chewbacca Lady”. She is a Christian woman who bought a Star Wars Chewbacca mask, wore it in her car, and posted the video of her reaction on Facebook.
The video is full of laughter that became instantly contagious. Laughs spread throughout the day, and so did the video – more than 142 million people viewed the video within a week of its release, and it now stands as the most viewed Facebook video of all time.
Putting on a Chewbacca mask and commenting on it may not be a “talent”, but I think this video reveals something important. No matter what you’re good at and no matter what your personality is, God created you in that way for a purpose. He can use those things for something amazing – something like bringing joy to millions of people some random Friday morning.
This video reminds me that as I continue to live and use the abilities God has given me, God will take care of the results, whether it’s making a small impact on one person or bringing something significant to millions. I don’t need to worry about how many people are watching or who is responding. All I need to do is seek God, and live according to the way He created me.
I may not go on tour across America, appear on an international talent show, or go viral on Facebook, but that’s okay. What matters is that God is glorified.