Contributed by Pastor Mary Timmermann, CLM
Cedar Valley and Nichols Methodist Churches

I recently attended the Iowa Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church. The theme of the conference was “Creating Difference-Makers.” Over the course of the weekend, it was brought home to me once again that we have all been given unique gifts and that we are meant to use these gifts to make a positive difference in our world.

Are you thinking, “I’m nothing special. I don’t have any gifts that would make a difference to anyone?” Here’s what I say to you: wrong! We all have gifts, but we don’t recognize them because they are things that come naturally to us. I used to think that my only gift was baking treats for Sunday fellowship time after service. I couldn’t (nor did I want to) preach, or pray long flowery prayers, or lead committees. But I could bake, and it was nothing special because I had always done it. But I found out years later how much it meant to someone when I made a special Sunday treat because I knew it was that person’s favorite.

Maybe your gift is hospitality, and you make people feel welcome or invite them to do something with you. Maybe your gift is being encouraging, and you tell people they are doing a good job, or compliment them, or give them the encouragement to try something new. Maybe you have the gift of teaching and can show some how to do something that they are wanting to learn . . . something like baking or how to work their smartphone.

We all have gifts, and we have the joy and the responsibility to use these gifts to make a difference in our community, our country, even our world. What is your gift, and how can you use it?