Yesterday morning our focus on our vocation retreat weekend was on recognizing our gift. We opened our session by praying St. Ignatius’ Suscipe and so startted with the acknowledgement that “Whaever I am or possess, you have given to me.”
Jennifer Wright, who was leading the morning session, began by suggesting that one reason we have difficulty recognizing our giftedness is that we tend to think in terms of praise and blame. When we do, we think focusing on our giftedness is boastful or prideful. However, when we recognize that all of our gifts come from God, then we realize that the gifts themselves are not about us and are not justification for praise or blame. She gave the example of getting a blouse for Christmas – that the blouse is beautiful itself has nothing to do with us. What warrants praise is not our possessing a gift, but what we do with it.
As a vehicle for focusing our attention on identifying our gifts, Jennifer hypothesized a company – Kingdom, Inc. You, she said, are the HR Director of this company, trying to implement the business plan of its owner – to manifest God’s Kingdom on earth. The business goal is that God’s will be done on earth.
The HR director has interviewed many candidates, conducted all sorts of personality tests and it now making decisions about what to do with new hires. The questions Jennifer asked us to address about the candidate in question were:
First, what tasks/functions should we assign him/her?
Second, what development/training/supervision/mentoring will s/he need?
Third, What challenges/potential provlems should we look out for?
The candidate (no surprise) was oneself. And so we spent some time in quiet reflection on how we would answer each question about ourself.
Although I’ve done many reflections on giftedness, this was the first time I used this formulation. Based on my own experience and the discussion we had afterward, it was a very good vehicle for the retreatants. So I would encourage you to try it.