One of my favorite traditions growing up was the annual Valentine’s scavenger hunt. Now, from what I understand, this is pretty unique to my family. Every year on Valentine’s Day, I would wake up to my parents holding a card. In that card was a sweet note for Valentine’s and a TERRIBLE poem. That cheesy poem was clue number one. It would take me to some part of the house where something like a box of candy hearts or a chocolate “T” for Taylor was waiting. Alongside that treat came another riddle, poem and clue to the next spot. Six or seven stops later, we always ended on the island in the kitchen with the final gift, and Valentine’s Day was off to a fun, family start!
Half of the fun of the scavenger hunt was the cheesy poems that led me through the house and wandering to find out what the next gift would be. It wasn’t just a couple of treats on the kitchen island to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was an event that led the whole family on a journey. What makes that a memory worth writing about was the process.
In Joshua 1, God tells the Israelites that the land of Canaan is theirs. The “promised land” is right in front of them, and God tells them it’s His gift to them. But first, they must take it. God doesn’t clear the land for the Israelites to waltz into without lifting a finger. Instead, God tells the men to get battle-ready, leave the women and children behind and go fight to take the land. God promises He’ll be with them and deliver them Canaan, but they still have to work for it.
At first read, this seems logical enough, but how often do we think that gifts from God are just handed to us? How often do we expect God to just hand us our gifts on a silver platter? How often are we waiting for God to hand us the gifts He’s given us without any work on our part?
But that’s not what Joshua 1 teaches us. Joshua 1 tells us that sometimes claiming our gifts from God takes work. To discover and claim those gifts, we have to be willing to fight, explore, sacrifice and work at it. Thankfully, there’s a perfect time in our lives for that.
As you enter your twenties, chances are you don’t have it all figured out. When people ask you your passion, you might have some ideas, but chances are you haven’t landed on that one thing. I promise you’ll find it, but it’s going to take some work.
Being young gives us the opportunity to “work” to find our gifts. Finding our gifts means trying out a lot of things. Commit to learning about new things, trying new activities, working on new projects and meeting new people, and you’ll find the things you love along the way. Sure, you’ll do some things you hate, like running. Tried it, hate it, still trying to do it to get in better shape, but I digress.
Now’s the time for you to cross into the land of milk and honey, your twenties. It’s a time filled with incredible experiences and discovery with living to be done. Along the way, God will reveal your gifts, talents and passion. Soon enough, you’ll make your way through and end up at the island in the kitchen with some new gifts found along the way and your biggest, promised gift sitting there ready to be taken.