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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: Attitudes and Abelskivvers
By Sharlyn Guthrie
11/27/07


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As a new bride I remember surveying our wedding gifts with wonder. I had limited experience using the cooking implements, so I first chose to try out the ones that seemed the simplest to use.

A square stove-top griddle was one of the first items to catch my eye. It produced crispy grilled cheese sandwiches, juicy hamburgers, and golden pancakes. I used it often and, in time, upgraded to a double-burner sized griddle. On the upgraded version, my sons encouraged my mastery of pancake art, which included bunnies, teddy bears, Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown, and round pancakes with initials or words emblazoned on their faces.

A few years ago I discovered that my double-burner griddle wasnít compatible with our new ceramic stove-top. I then purchased an even larger electric one. Alas, my family shrunk, and the electric griddle is so large and awkward that I seldom use it, although occasionally I find it helpful for entertaining.

Another cooking device we received as newlyweds came from a Danish couple. It was called an abelskivver, and resembled a large iron skillet with eight to ten indentations. I had no idea what to do with it, so I displayed it on the wall, much to the amusement of our Danish friends. By the time they furnished us with a recipe and instructions for its use, I was very comfortable using my griddle, and not terribly interested in investing the time it would take to try something new. Eventually the abelskivver wound up in a garage sale, and was sold without a single use.

Recently I have changed my attitude toward cooking. Iím intrigued by the variety of utensils, vessels, and cookware available in stores like Crate and Barrel and Williams Sonoma, and I often amuse myself by leafing through their mail-order catalogs.

This week, as I scanned a Williams Sonoma ad, my eyes fell on a familiar, but nearly forgotten item Ėan abelskivver. Mounded on a festive plate beside it were scrumptious-looking apple-filled pancakes, just like the ones our friends had intended for us to enjoy.

A feeling of shame and regret washed over me as I realized that I had squandered a wonderful wedding gift, simply due to my reluctance to invest the time and energy required to use it.

Sadly, I have harbored much the same attitude toward spiritual gifts as I have harored toward wedding gifts. Some spiritual gifts are easy to employ, offer little risk, and require only small investments of time. Those are the gifts I felt comfortable using for many years, all the while neglecting gifts that required more time and energy to develop and use for ministry.

Iím certain other members of Christís body must take the same approach. Perhaps that is why Paul, in the twelfth chapter of first Corinthians, refers to some gifts as ďthe greater giftsĒ and encourages believers to eagerly desire them.

Thankfully, I realized my folly before it was too late to re-discover my squandered spiritual gifts, and I have begun to seek ways to develop and use them. Still, I am filled with regret when I consider how much greater my gifts might be if I had begun to exercise them early in my walk with Christ. I can only pray for extra grace and courage to use them at this time of my life instead.

As for the abelskivver, Iím not sure. I could purchase one from Williams Sonoma and practice until Iím capable of producing a mouth-watering platter full of Danish delicacies, or I could simply snip the picture from the catalog and stick it on my refrigerator to serve as a daily reminder not to squander the gifts God gave me. Now that would certainly give our Danish friends something to scratch their heads about. Come to think of it, it would also make me very hungry.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 11/29/07
What a terrific illustration. Great job and a message I needed to be reminded of today.
Janice Cartwright11/30/07
So true. The talents we have naturally from birth aren't necessarily synonomous with spiritual gifts. I think the Lord enjoys seeing us set our flesh aside at times just so He can show what great things He can do through us.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/01/07
This was a great analogy for how we use our gifts. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 12/04/07
Wonderful illustration and lesson on using your gift. Great writing!
Shelley Ledfors 12/04/07
A great lesson. I love how you related it to something in your life...something to which we can all relate. Well done.
Laury Hubrich 12/04/07
This was a creative entry. I'm going to have to look online to see exactly what an abelskivvers is now:) Very nice comparison with our unused spiritual gifts.
Laury
Peter Stone12/08/07
I absolutely loved the beginning - I could see the parallel of not embracing the gift/s God has given us. I think the article would have reached an even deeper level had you then done a similar examination of a particular gift (especially a Gift of the Spirit) that had been left idle, but upon research, training, practise, the gift was fanned into flame. Excellent conclusion .