Just a few weeks ago, I attended both Mountain Affair and the play Consumption. I love music and theatre so being able to attend these events on campus was a treat. However, I came away with an unsettled feeling that maybe some of you relate to. All of the actors and performers people did an incredible job which I enjoyed watching, but they left me feeling unworthy and untalented.
I wanted to have something that I could share with the Covenant community and feel like I was actually contributing in some meaningful way. Yet, I have nothing to offer. I have no natural talents and I often feel like I pour myself into everything I do only to achieve mediocrity. I know I could never perform in a talent show because no one would want to see me on stage, tripping over my own feet and sharing my sarcastic comments.
In frustration, I called my mom. Through tears, I explained to her how I felt unworthy to be at Covenant because I had no talent to share. With calm words that only a mother could share, she said, “Hannah, sometimes just being a listening ear and focusing on other people is a talent that many people do not have.”
This really opened my eyes. Maybe I can’t act, sing, dance, play a sport, or even snap my fingers, but I can listen. I can pray for others. I can strive to do all I can to help those around me. The best part of this: it doesn’t have to be a natural talent, but one that if worked on hard enough, can be achieved by anyone.
I am willing to bet that there are a lot of students in our community who feel the exact same way I do. It is okay to feel this way, but it is important that we do not sit and feel sorry for ourselves because we lack clear, stage-worthy talents. My call in this article is to encourage everyone else at Covenant who has ever felt the same way I did last month to open their eyes to what they can bless those around them.
We are uniquely created by a good God and made to belong in community. Often the best way to go about that is to watch, listen, encourage, and applaud. Sometimes the very best thing we can do is support other people. God calls us not to look at ourselves, but at those around us. When we are willing to support other people, our focus turns from inward to outward. When we look to help others, that is how we can truly better our campus community. I know that the next time I am at a play or orchestra concert, instead of feeling inferior, I am going to sit there and pray for the performers and how they can use their gifts to support the community while I use mine by being willing to be there.