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adogwalkWhen I stumbled into the kitchen this morning for my coffee, everyone was there and all three were wide awake. Someone commented that “the early bird catches the worm” to which another replied, “Ah, yes, but the later one gets the filet mignon!” (Cheery repartee for 6:30AM!)

Back in my room, I felt as if St. Paul would have fit quite well in our kitchen today with his usual high energy. As often in the Acts of the Apostles, Paul was vigorously preaching to anyone who would listen – today in Antioch with a history lesson of the Hebrew people – from Egypt, through judges and kings, all the way to John the Baptist and Jesus. With each lectionary cycle I grow in admiration for Paul whose gifts and willingness certainly rank among the most influential for the spread of Christianity.

Then I need to remind myself that each of us has our piece to add to the good of the whole. At a recent reflection day, I asked the participants to name one of their personal gifts or talents. It took a bit of coaxing for a few but I was gratified that we seem to be owning our unique ways of shining in the world better these days than when some of us were taught that self-deprecation was a synonym for humility.

Alan Cohen has a nice reminder about this point today in his book, A Deep Breath of Life. On a page entitled “A Bit of Myself” he writes the following:

Everything we do has our flavor in it. To do anything without your essence would be as impossible as the sun shining without heat. Your essence is the unique dimension you add to any act you express, from walking your dog to building a skyscraper. It is the special energy that you came to deliver to the world. Just as no two fingerprints are alike, every individual has a uniquely beautiful contribution to offer. 

Why not stop – right now – and dig deep for that special essence, then find a mirror and speak it aloud for all the world to hear!

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