“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ ~ Erma Bombeck ~
While I understand what Ms. Bombeck is trying to get at here, I think I might phrase it a little bit differently. Might we possibly be striving to tap into and exercise every scrap of potential that we have been endowed with? I’m not convinced that it is used up once we tap into it as she might seem to be suggesting on the surface of this thought. Maybe I am reading it wrong too?
My take is you find those talents and inspiration within yourself and then begin exploring, developing and building on them. Your talents evolve throughout your life and your gifts to the world continually grow and blossom. I would like to think it is more like an ever flowing well that we should always be drawing from. As Ursula K. Le Guin so eloquently put it through the voice of Tehanu: Our final parting gift to the world will be “all that we didn’t do, all that we couldn’t be, all the choices we didn’t make…”
So don’t look on the things you perceive that you haven’t done as failures. Do your best and know that all will be taken up by those who follow. If you do that then you will certainly be able to say: ‘I used everything that I could in the time that I was given here.’
(Originally published March 20, 2017)