Don’t leave your talents on the shelf

It’s fall, y’all. Finally. It’s so nice to know when the door opens a crisp coolness will greet you. Hallelujah and thank you, Lord, it’s truly happening. It’s getting cooler.

I don’t even mind if the cool weather brings more work. I get to clean out closets putting up the summer clothes and pulling out the wintery ones. For a gal who lives in the South there is an odd thing about my winter versus summer wardrobe. For some strange reason I have collected a bunch of cold weather garb.

Another crazy thing is my obsession with boots. My feet have lost their loveliness, as if feet ever are in the category of lovely … but mine need to be covered. My legs also suffer from the same issue. Boots are the answer. Maybe that’s why I like the winter season because of the “full coverage” thing.

Every year I’ll pick up stuff on the clearance racks at the end of the season. I’ve picked up some really questionable winter wear simply because it’s at a rock-bottom price. I love hearing the sales lady say, “You’ve saved ‘x’ amount of dollars.”

But when winter rolls around and those bargains see the light of day, I began to question my judgment. Why? Well, let me put it this way I suddenly realize why these things were on sale… they’re really, really ugly.

I have a pair of boots that fit that description. Maybe, that’s a stretch. Let’s just say they were cheap and not quite my style. Hence, after the purchase they’ve taken up residence on a shelf year after year waiting to be worn or given away.

When cool air hit this year, and I hadn’t quite yet pulled out the good winter stuff, I spotted these boots sitting there looking kind of sad. I decided it was time to wear the poor things. I’ve told y’all before the lighting in my closet isn’t that good and sometimes my wardrobe decisions can become a huge fail.

That’s what happened on the day these boots came out into the light of day.

I made it all the way to church when I looked down and saw the crazy boots had sat on the shelf so long they dry rotted. Cracks and pieces of material were hanging off looking like a total mess. Dry rotted, y’all. Embarrassing to say the least.

That’ll preach. Like anything kept on a shelf and not utilized it’s going to lose its luster, its suppleness and become brittle, split and crumbling; its usefulness forgotten or gone.

God has given everyone of us gifts and talents. The same thing can happen when those God-given talents and gifts are left on the shelf and never used. No one benefits. We all need the contribution of each other’s gifts. When they’re shelved we all miss out.

1 Peter 4:10 tell us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” So, if you’ve shelved yours, fan into flame the gift that’s in you before an ugly case of dry rot takes hold.

Boots on the ground, my friends.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.