When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. (Luke 12:48)
Relate: Scatterbrained. That is one way to describe the man, but I don’t think it quite fits. Brilliant. It is a word far more accurate but again I think it falls far short. There is an abundance of brilliant people past and present and none of them are anything like him. While not one of my favorite historical characters, I would say that he is one of the ones I am most intrigued by. He accomplished so much that can easily put him in the pantheon of greatest and most gifted individuals of all time, but there was also so much more that he could have, should have done and just didn’t. Over and over and over again, cities were abandoned, patrons were left incensed, and works were left unfinished. If there was a top ten list of greatest works of art that never were, Leonardo da Vinci could very easily be the owner of at least half that list.
If I were to describe him, I would call Leonardo the greatest starter in the history of mankind. Over and over again he would step into a project that caught his attention. He would demonstrate his brilliance and/or talent in it, but somewhere between halfway and two thirds of the way towards completion something else would have caught his eye and that work of art, or architecture, or design, or… you name it, he could do anything but the only thing he ever really had difficulty doing was finishing. I might take a bit of heat for saying this, but I believe most of Leonardo’s talent was simply wasted. It is hard to imagine but the man who gave us the Mona Lisa, and the Last Supper, and explained why the sky is blue, and so much more wasted probably 90% of his potential.
React: Imagine Leo getting to heaven’s gates and God saying to him, “I asked you to paint the Adoration of the Magi, and the Virgin and Child. You didn’t even finish the Last Supper. What happened?” If Leonardo were to answer, “Yes, but look at what I did with the Mona Lisa,”I could imagine God responding right back, “That’s not what I asked.”
I will never be able to paint the Mona Lisa and that’s OK. God hasn’t called me to paint the Mona Lisa. He hasn’t gifted me to paint the Mona Lisa. If I were to spend my life wishing I were talented enough to paint the Mona Lisa, I would be wasting my life just as badly as Leonardo wasted his. How has God gifted me? What are my talents? What am I doing with them? God knows what I can do and what I should be doing. He is after all the one who both gifted and commissioned me. What He demands of me is that I be faithful to complete the task set before me. He demands the same of you. Let us not look at the talents we wish we had or pine away for the gifts that are not ours but instead do the best we can with what we have. That is all God expects from us.
I am so thankful for the gifts and talents, the passions and motivations You have given me. When I look around at others, it can become easy to either be proud or despondent. Help me not to measure my work by other people’s giftings. Help me to avoid that comparison trap. You know what I can do and You know how well I am doing it. Let me live and work and strive and follow in such a way that, when I stand before You, I will hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”