God’s toaster

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about personal gifts, and the
differences between talents and skills.

A lot of the things that would be considered my strengths aren’t
talents, they are skills.

They aren’t things that I really believe are natural abilities… they
are learned ones. Ones learned by years of dealing with certain
circumstances.

Had the circumstances been different, I really don’t believe they
would have ever been things that would have developed on their own.

Mainly, because they aren’t things that I enjoy, at all. Mostly, they
are things that I hate doing.

For example, conflict resolution. Am I good at it, after years of
dealing with it? Yes. And I get that some people do thrive off of
making peace in tense situations, and have a feeling of satisfaction
when they are able to help things defuse and resolve. But I am very
much not one of those people. Even when things turn out well, I’m more
likely to be in tears and stressed. I do not like it at all.

But, I’m good at it.

So it makes for an odd feeling when someone calls it “a gift”.

Because it feels like if it’s a gift, it’s about the equivalent of God
giving a toaster.

Yes, its something that makes life easier. But, no, its not something
anyone would ask for, or even really want.

Something used only when they really need to, and not particularly
with enjoyment when they do, but instead barely even noticing how much
it is a benefit.

And I know this falls under the idea that God wouldn’t give a rock
when asked for bread… that what he gives is what was needed… but I
guess sometimes the bread still feels like a rock.

Meanwhile, the areas that I do have more interest and enthusiasm…
are usually the areas I seem to have neither talent nor skill. I enjoy
doing them… I just suck at them. Sometimes a lack of natural talent
can be made up for by learned skills and practice, but sometimes it
just can’t. (Art for example.)

Kind of frustrating.

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