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Persisting with the talent you have

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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Hard work and persistence describe the career of the New England Patriots' premier quarterback, Tom Brady. Without that wholehearted dedication, he might not have even continued his football career.

Flash back to his sophomore year at the University of Michigan, when he was spending a lot of time on the bench. Concerned about his lack of opportunity and considering transferring to another school, he talked with his coach. His coach's advice: "Go out there and do everything you can to control what you can control and quit worrying about how many reps [how much practice time] you get or the other quarterbacks, the skills they have and you don't. Worry about things that you do well" ("Brady still has something to prove," USA Today, Oct. 31, 2006). The result: Brady was the starting quarterback for the next two seasons and led his team to bowl games both years.

The coach's advice reminds me of the guidance given in the parable of the talents – a story Jesus told to help illustrate a spiritual point. The master of the house was going on a long trip, so he called his servants together and entrusted them with his property. To one he gave five talents (an amount of money); to another, two; and to another, one. Then he left the country.

Right away, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second servant did the same. When the master returned, he praised each of the first two servants: "Well done, you upright ... and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much."

But the man with the one talent had buried his money. He said: "I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground." The master said: "You wicked and lazy and idle servant!... You should have invested my money with the bankers.... So take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents" (Matt. 25:14-30, Amplified Bible).

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