“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” ~ Luke 12:48 (NIV)
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Crop Over is in the air, and I heartily agree with a comment made once by Father Austin Carrington of the Christ Church Parish Church who encouraged Barbadians to embrace the positive aspects of our Festival while casting away the not-so-positive ones. And here therefore is my “Once-Upon-a-Crop-Over-Long-Ago” story … which of course stars Nathan and Gale.
That particular year we went to the beach one Sunday afternoon with friends and family to enjoy some “Pan pun de Sand”. It was hot hot hot and very crowded but the sweet sweet sweet steel pan melodies soon distracted us from dwelling on the humidity. The musicians were talented and passionately threw their bodies all across the pans, reminding me of the reason I particularly loved this time of year; when I am so very proud to be a Bajan living in the midst of so much local creativity.
Unfortunately, the evening was slightly marred by an interesting interaction involving Nathan who, when it was time to leave, could not be contacted on his cell phone. We knew he had gone off with one of his friends soon after arriving on the beach but by 8 p.m. it was more than a little dark and even more crowded; yet he hadn’t returned to our group. After many frustrating moments of unanswered calls, a close friend contacted us to advise that Nathan was with his family and would be taken home. This was good because it meant Nate was safe, but it was also disappointing because as we found out later on, Nate never even had his cell phone with him! Apparently the battery had died so he simply left it in his room at home, jumped into the car and never once said a single word as we made our way to the venue.
Needless to say, Nathan could not understand the cause for concern. As we argued, a thought unexpectedly popped into my mind: “to whom much is given, much is expected / required”. Years ago, I worked and paid for my first (about the size of a flat, extra-large cucumber) cell phone. I had no parent to gift it to me and yes, times were different since Nathan had his own (high-tech) phone at a much younger age but it is expected that by having this convenient communication tool one should be better able to reach him, especially in an emergency – not so? With this acquisition therefore came the responsibility of keeping it charged (Nathan) and topped up with airtime (Gale).
As Nathan further failed to see the point, both his phone and his I-pod were eventually confiscated by his big bad momma. Why the I-pod? Because it was always charged so he could listen to music and as a result permanently attached to his hip. The I-pod had of course accompanied him to the beach, but no phone … were we to call him on the I-pod then when it was time to leave? Was it supposed to ring? Who would have answered? But in reality, what could he have been thinking? And I don’t know why, but as the confiscator proceeded to confiscate items from the confiscatee, another verse sprung to mind, admittedly not in the truest context as presented in the bible: “the Lord giveth … and the Lord taketh away”.
I am still not sure all these years later if Nate has learnt his lesson i.e. the importance of being more responsible and accountable. Parenting is a continuous work in progress and sometimes it looks as though there is no progress at all but I do know that on that night way back then as we went to bed (very very early) I was able to acknowledge that in the same way I had been blessed in abundance with good friends, loving family, basic health, home, car, job and the ability to write creatively, so was I required to share these blessings with others whenever I could, and before for some reason they were taken away.
So here’s the question(s): what about you? What talents or material possessions has God given to you? What testimony is He expecting you to share? Is He expecting much of you as a result of His blessings? Definitely something to think about.
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” ~ Job 1:21 (NIV)
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