Surprising Uses For Hidden Talents...

By Kay Carter | 21 October 2016

hidden talents

My neighbour is looking a little bemused. I’m explaining that I can’t babysit on Saturday because I’ve promised to make cocktails for 150 people. “Oooh,” she says, “can I come?” “Absolutely,” I enthuse, “it’s at my church.”

 

Our family cocktail bar is becoming something of a fixture at church events. At last year’s weekend away we opted for tuxedos and 1930s chic to complement our selection of fruit rickeys. This year we’re creating a science lab, complete with dry ice bubbling away in test tubes (although not in the elderflower and mint juleps we’ll be serving).

 

Living in London, my husband and I are surrounded by creative mixologists pushing the boundaries, and for years we’ve used our holidays to seek out cutting-edge cocktail-makers across the world. We’ve tried cocktails garnished with radioactive soil, cocktails with whale blubber, cocktails smoked in bell jars, and a surprisingly delicious one flavoured with cheese mould. We found we could recreate some of the simpler ones at home, and started wheeling them out as a bit of a party trick. But despite the fact we’re both Christians, it never occurred to us that this could have anything to do with God. It wasn’t that we felt we had to hide it from him, we just didn’t think he’d be remotely interested.

 

That changed when a new curate arrived. He got wind of the fact that we knew our way around a shaker and asked if we would run a cocktail bar at his ordination party. Despite alarm at the prospect of putting martinis into the hands of the faithful — what if they got drunk and it was all our fault?! — we said yes, people had (responsible) fun, and cocktails became part of our church social scene.

 

Soon we were approached by a community initiative started by church members. They wanted to run a stall at local events to model disability inclusion, where teams of people with and without learning disabilities could make eye-catching refreshments together. Cocktails (with or without alcohol) fitted the bill perfectly and we set to work.

Ephesians 2:10 teaches that we are created purposefully, with specific gifts and passions shaped for specific tasks. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We tend to assume this means that we are God’s handiwork, and those bits that fit easily into the church rota are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. However that’s not what the verse says. My husband and I are living proof that there is no activity (not prohibited in the Bible) that is too outlandish for God to use.

When human beings are passionate about something, a huge amount of energy and creativity is unleashed. We read in 1 Peter 4:10 that Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Our passions, our energy, our creativity, are all gifts from God and if we are to be good stewards we need to be open-minded about what God’s intentions for them might be.

 

All those evenings spent in bars tasting strange concoctions, it’s a shame it never occurred to us that God might have a purpose in our eccentric hobby. When God is absent even our favourite things can feel a bit hollow, but if we can use them for him, in the service of others, our enjoyment is magnified. 

Are you obsessed by Aston Villa, or a computer geek, or learning the bagpipes, or brilliant at crochet? It is not an accident—you are God’s handiwork and he wants your whole being in his service.  What do you love doing more than anything else? Why has God made you that way? What is he calling you to do about it?


 

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