“Okay guys, here’s the deal. Last time an official seen me with these things, they had to remove them from my person. You won’t even know what that means, but basically, your gift is a weapon.” I was handing boomerangs to my two nephews after coming home from Australia. The three year old played shy and then walked away without even taking the gift. The eleven year old, Isaiah, waited though. He heard me call out his gift was a weapon, and he’d wait until it were in his hands.  

I had assumed these gifts would be treated like souvenirs, not weapons. I had assumed the boys would get home and forget all about them. Not true. Isaiah was on me before we left the airport. Auntie, can you come over to teach me how to use my boomerang?  Of course I said yes, thinking he’d get home and put it on the shelf to show off instead of use, or forget it in the car to go play video games instead.

Isaiah is persistent and incredibly wise. He asked me, and then he would use my mother, his grandma, to get to me too. Gramma, can you ask Auntie Dee when she will come teach me how to use my boomerang? He continued. He didn’t give up. I liked that about him, and so I YouTube’d How To Throw A Boomerang. 

We set out to a big field in the small town he lives in with the boomerang held tightly in his hand. We tried it out a thousand times, and failed nine hundred ninety nine times. It was that one shot of doing it well that kept us going though. When Isaiah had a moment’s glory, we jumped, I screamed, he shouted, we won. I knew it would be a constant learning curve, but those little moments of glory would pop up too.WEAPONS

It’s funny to me how much one can learn from the heart of an eleven year old persistent with a gift he’s been given. It’s not funny however, how badly we miss the point of it all. See weapons are the gifts you’ve been given from God. Sometimes, we don’t even see it coming. My nephew hadn’t seen that boomerang coming, but he accepted the challenge like a champ and the gift as his very own. The gifts can range from being an incredible hostess, mother, leader, encourager, speaker, singer, or prayer warrior. Oftentimes, we misrepresent the gift giver by using the gift poorly though. Let’s be a people who aren’t okay with that anymore:

We’re all given gifts from God. Don’t treat the gifts like a souvenir when it was meant to be a weapon. Too many people see the gift, and walk away shy with nothing in hand. What a shame. Even if those closest to you assume it isn’t more than a play thing, choose to invest in your gifts anyway. Perhaps your persistence will engage the doubter anyhow. It would be easy to put your gifts on the shelf like a weird bragging right, but their just going to get dusty up there. What good is a gift if you’re only going to respond by showing off anyhow? People’s lives are at stake, better take that gift off the shelf and learn how to use it well.

When you begin to use your gifts, you’re going to fail ninety-nine times before you understand it once. This isn’t reason or excuse enough to quit trying. You’ve been given a gift. It’s not meant for the shelf gathering dust, or just to show off. Gifts are just as much a learning curve as they are a joy. Don’t give up! Consistency in effort is the only way you’ll ever find yourself shouting, screaming, and winning.

Being given a gift makes you a student, not a teacher. You are purposed for something greater than yourself. That means you won’t quite grasp it all the time. When you position yourself with a humble heart like my nephew did, you’re positioning yourself for the greatest sort of influence. You’re also positioning yourself for a better comeback after you fail ninety-nine times. Don’t misunderstand: the gift is meant to help you connect with and better others, not become better than others which disconnects you from influence altogether.

Hey I’m really proud of you. You’ve been given something by God that is really special. Something that is going to absolutely change the world. Don’t be afraid to try and fail: you and your gifts are purposed. Don’t give in to the allure of showing off or forgetting it somewhere: only you can be who God’s asked you to be. Only you can use your gifts like weapons. And don’t get so caught up in being the master when your greatest influence is found in being the humble student.

Can I just mention again that I had to tell the boys to hide their gifts until we were outside? See an official had to take them away from me until I was finished at a conference before I left Australia. I hadn’t even considered it, but they seen this little gift as a threat, which I now totally understand.

I just wonder sometimes if this is Satan’s fear too. That if we really learned to stop treating our gifts like souvenirs, he might just consider them weapons too. Cause when you get it, and you will, we’ll jump, I’ll scream, you can shout, and we will have won.