1. Don't worry about each other people's talents. I used to be crippled by self-doubt. It paralyzed me, to the point that I've neglected to try getting any of my works published for a long, long time. But eventually, I've realized that I'm only hurting myself by doing that. If I only focus on what other people have done with their careers, I'd just end up throwing my life away.
As this parable shows, it's not what you started with that matters. It's what you do with what you have that's important. So if you really think you need an MFA to be a better writer, stop feeling bad about not having one. Figure out what you need to do to get your degree.
2. Don't be afraid to take risks. In this parable, the third servant was given just one bag of gold - less than what the other servants were entrusted with. If you think about it, he had less to risk but he ended up the one being most afraid of risking and losing.
God gave us all that we need to get where we're destined to be. But we'll never finish our life's journey if we don't start believing in ourselves. If we don't take a chance on ourselves. I am where I am now because I took a risk. It was a giant leap of faith, a sink-or-swim kind of decision. All the odds were against me and the only thing that kept me writing was my faith in myself - and my belief that I was doing what I was meant to do.
3. Don't blame others for what you can't accomplish or haven't accomplished. In the parable, when the third servant was called to do an accounting, he started off with an explanation of how his master's attitude has influenced his decision. As far as I'm concerned, he's pretty much blaming his master for the fact that he's done nothing with his bag of gold.
If my book's a flop, I'm not going to blame you or anyone else because of it. I'm just going to try and figure out what I could have improved on, move on, and chalk it up to experience. Blaming other people or factors for one's failure is not only pointless, but in some cases it can also be unnecessarily hurtful. Dishonest and cowardly even.
4. We are all born with "something". To end this on a positive note, this parable also reminds us that we were all born with one or several talents - an "X-factor" if you will, and it's just up to us to recognize what it is and develop it into something great. :)
P.S. I've pasted the passage for today's gospel below in case you'd like to read it.
P.P.S. If you previously posted a comment / emailed me, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I'm only blogging when I need to take a break from editing / writing. Sorry for the delay!
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’