BY SISTER LAURETTA LEIPZIG
There’s a story told about two tadpoles. They lived under water all their lives. One day one of the tadpoles decided to raise its head above the water. “What are you doing?” scolded its partner. “I want to see if there’s anything besides water in the world.” “Don’t be stupid,” said the partner. “You’ve got it good down here!”
Yes, the one tadpole believed that they had it “good” down there and it seemed safe for the tadpoles to remain underwater, but the other tadpole wanted to come up above the water to discover that there might be something more for them. In a sense, we also might be tempted to think like the first tadpole. We might bury ourselves in our own little world. Like the one who just wants to stay below the water, we fail to look around to realize there’s so much more to our lives that we can enjoy, be thankful for and can share. We have been lavished with treasures from God –time, energy, resources, everything! And God expects us to use these well. Then there’s the tadpole that wants to come up and look around. Instead of remaining below, we might, like this one, allow ourselves to be challenged to come up and see what plans God has for us and what God wants us to do with the gifts and talents he has given us to better the world.
In Matthew’s account of the Parable of the Talents the stewards were charged by their master to look after the property while he was away. They were to take care of it and, in doing that, use what they were given profitably, but also knowing full well that the property didn’t belong to them. It belonged to the master. However, there was the one steward that buried his treasure; of course, this treasure, likewise, did not belong to him and so it was not for him to decide to bury it. In the same way we cannot bury our treasures. They don’t belong to us; they are God’s and God wants us to use them for good.
Back to the tadpoles. We can’t stay in our “underwater” buried existence, though it may be very safe and comfortable. In that place we aren’t using well God’s gracious gifts to us. We’ve got to come up out of the water and decide how we will best use the gifts God has given us so we can return them to God one hundred fold. But if we decide to come up the world will tell us “Don’t be stupid!” “You don’t need to help that person.” “You may need your money for things you want to buy for yourself.” “There are others to take care of those in need.” “You have places to go and things to see and you can’t afford the time to volunteer your services.” And the excuses can go on and on. But God is telling us to come up out of the water – our world of comfort and ease — because maybe there’s something that God has that’s better for us. When we use our talents our eyes are opened to see there’s something more than “water” out there; there’s more to life than staying in a comfortable place. There’s a world of need waiting for us!