This has given me pause. This is what I love about this blogging stuff. I write what's on my mind. But, then other people challenge me and my thoughts which force me to reevaluate my position on the topic. This is a perfect example; I never considered being gay as a talent that I needed to magnify. But, this begs the question: How do you magnify being gay?
First of all, I have to consider if I agree with the conjecture that the parable of the talents refers to our attributes and not our abilities. Wikipedia suggests that the talents referenced in the parable refer to our responsibilities; and, to increase our talents relates to the amount of diligence we put into carrying out our responsibilities. Hmmm, that's neither attributes or abilities. I'm going to have to ponder this a bit more.
So I will assume, for the sake of discussion, that the talents referenced in the parable refer to the attributes that uniquely define me and who I am. How am I doing in magnifying my gay talent? To answer that, I need to compare where I am now to where I was a year ago.
Within the last year I first came out to myself and admitted to myself that I am gay. More recently, I came out to my wife and told her that I'm gay. I now accept that I'm gay - I am no longer ashamed of it. And I freely discuss it - albeit anonymously. Although, a year ago I couldn't have even done that. So, in that sense, I think I am magnifying my gay talent. I'm not ready to go to church wearing a rainbow pin, so I still have a ways to go. But I'm much further along than I was before.
Am I using my gayness to bless my life and the lives of others? That's a more difficult question to answer. One thing I've pondered on recently is my relationship with the young men in my ward. I've been in a calling working with the youth for most of my adult life. I have a good relationship with the young men in my ward and probably get along better with them than I do the brethren closer to my own age. But, I've wondered why I get along with them so well because, in truth, I don't fit the stereotypical image of a guy who works with teenagers. What I've concluded is that the reason we get along so well is because I truly love these young men - and they know it. They know that when I ask them how they are doing it is because I am genuinely interested and not just because I think it is my duty to ask. And, I wonder if being gay allows me to love these young men in a way that a straight man would never allow himself to do. A straight man might hold back on his love (perhaps subconsciously) out of fear that it makes him gay. I'm already gay, so I don't have to worry about it. In that sense, I guess I am using my gayness to bless the lives of others. As an aside, Now that my children are grown, I have been giving serious consideration to going back to school to get my teaching credentials and teaching High School.
There is also my blog. Does reading this blog help other people who are in a similar situation? I know reading other blogs has certainly helped me. So, I hope that I am, somehow, helping others with my blabbering on about my life. If nothing else, I link to all of the gay Mormon blogs that I've found on the right hand side. So, if you aren't getting anything out of my blog, you can use it as a jumping point to other blogs which are more deep and meaningful.
But, what about using my gayness to bless my own life. That, I fear, is something I still need to work on. I can't think of any examples of where me being gay has blessed my life. While I'm no longer ashamed of being gay, I do consider it a nuisance - much like a tall person might consider his height to be an inconvenience at times. But, his height can also be a convenience (who else can reach the stuff up on the top shelf?). I haven't reached that point yet where I see certain advantages to being gay - I guess I still have a long way to go on this front.
As to my anger issues. Call me childish, but there are times when I feel angry with God (and Monday was one of those times). But, as I closed my poem.
But, with time
These feelings subside.
And so does my anger with God.
I'm doing much better today than I was earlier this week. I was just feeling sorry for myself. It wasn't the first time I wallowed in self pity, and probably won't be the last time. I guess this is something else I need to work on.
I better close this blog entry - I keep giving myself ToDo's. Let's see, I need to work on using my gayness to bless my own life, I need to work on my wallowing in self pity. Anything else??? Did I forget anything???
P.S. I'm on page 709 (out of 1,006 pages) of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. I'm not sure if I'll make the March 28th deadline for the MoHo book club review, but it will be close. Who else is reading this book? I hope I'm not the only one to post a review.