A new friend recently introduced me to someone as “she has so many gifts.” Driving home I began to wonder “how many of my gifts have I squandered?” What am I even talking about?
Squander: 1589 (implied in squandering), “to spend recklessly or prodigiously,” of unknown origin; Shakespeare used it 1593 in “Merchant of Venice” with a sense of “to be scattered over a wide area;” Waste (something, especially money or time) in a reckless and foolish manner, or to use something valuable that you have a limited amount of in a bad or foolish way.
“riddles of the heart”
A dear friend is sad because 6 of the 13 tiny ducklings who hatched at the edge of their pond, even with the close care of the mama duck, have disappeared. We know they fed the hawk or large snapping turtle or other nearby animals.
Of course money immediately came to mind; money not saved or spent on things that have been lost or given away, or things bought that are not being used – we read about people who get along with one pot and no hot water. That’s not what I’m thinking about.
This parable is closer to what I’m thinking:
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Large crowds gathered around him, so he got into a boat and sat down, while the people stood on the shore. 3 Then Jesus used stories to teach them many things. He said: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. 4 While he was planting, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it all up. 5 Some seed fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much dirt. That seed grew very fast, because the ground was not deep. 6 But when the sun rose, the plants dried up, because they did not have deep roots. 7 Some other seed fell among thorny weeds, which grew and choked the good plants. 8 Some other seed fell on good ground where it grew and produced a crop. Some plants made a hundred times more, some made sixty times more, and some made thirty times more. 9 Let those with ears use them and listen.” *
I attended a workshop last weekend titled “We Are the People of the Resurrection.” Alexanda Kovats, the facilitator was adamant that we must embody certain gifts that are felt; We must make them known before we can move onto other discussions of the Spirit. She used a circle to model G-d as center of the self, with the following gifts surrounding the center: anger, ego, control, desire, play, wounds, gratitude, patience, trust, fear, and delight. (We can name many more.)She gave us little monster finger puppets to aide us in taking a look at our own circle of gifts.
These felt emotions are the gifts I was born with and squander recklessly. Being a gardener I was reminded that The Dali Lama, Angeles Arrien, Mother Teresa – add a name here __________ and the Buddha, Jesus and Mohammad all remind us those elements can create compost for the rich soil, humas, that transforms that central seed to living vine. I’m going out into my messy backyard to work in the garden…
“Our culture cherishes fantasies about how economics and technology can ‘fix’ our situation: that the marketplace will engineer solutions to the woes of population and climate change. … But one technology we don’t talk about enough is that of the imagination. The world changes only as we reimage it; when we restructure, dream, allow, celebrate. The mechanisms of imagination are a key element to heaven, I think, and of all the elements of education so lacking in our culture, it is the most sorely missed. Imagination is the field in which true transformation is rooted. As the Gnostic Gospel of Mary would tell us, we are saved from our old, wounded selves through a new vision of ourselves.” – David Wallace, “Foreword” to Charlene Proctor, The Oneness Gospel