Posted by Daniel Carlos Tan on August 18, 2013
Once upon a time, there was a little boy the other children called Sparky after a comic strip horse named Sparkplug. Even though the boy hated that nickname, he could never shake it off.
School was difficult for Sparky. He failed every single subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school. In fact he still holds the school record for being the worst physics student in the school’s history. He also flunked Latin, Algebra, and English. He didn’t do much better in sports. He made the school’s golf team, but his poor play ended up costing his team the championship.
Throughout his youth, Sparky was a loser socially. Not that he was disliked by other kids—it’s just that nobody paid much attention to him. He was astonished if a classmate even said hello outside of school. He never dated or asked a girl out. He was afraid of being turned down.
But Sparky didn’t let being a loser bother him that much; he just decided to make it through life the best he could and not worry about what other people thought of him.
Sparky did, however, have a hobby. He loved cartoons, and he liked drawing his own cartoons even if no one else thought they were any good. When he was in senior high, he submitted some cartoons to the school yearbook and they were rejected. Sparky kept drawing anyway.
Sparky dreamed about being an artist for Walt Disney. After graduating from high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios inquiring about job opportunities. He received a form letter requesting samples of his artwork. The form letter asked him to draw a funny cartoon of “a man repairing a clock by shoveling the springs and gears back inside it.”
Sparky drew the cartoon and mailed it off with some of his other work to Disney studios. He waited and waited for a reply. Finally the reply came—another form letter telling him that there was no job for him.
Gifts are blessings, whether or not they come in neatly-wrapped packages. Whatever the size, gifts are given for the receiver to consume or use. They are to be taken care of and looked after lest they befall a premature doom. The more these gifts are nurtured, the more that the giver is honored for his kind generosity.
So it is with the gifts of great skills God has blessed us with. They must be put to good use, taken care of and looked after. These talents must be nurtured, developed, and cultivated.
Sadly, not all have realized that responsibility. Some people think that these gifts are to be utilized for personal gain. People in their greed corrupt the sole purpose of God’s gifts for their selfishness, and no matter how anyone try to lead them to see the mission God has laid for them to do, they just shrug and continue on their own paths.
There are also those who think too low of themselves. These so-called losers think that they are talent-less, stupid, dumb or just plain dirt. In their depression, they fail to see the tiny but powerful gifts God has hidden in the depths of their being.
Nevertheless, we must continue on praising God with whatever skills we have, no matter what other people do, and even if we are lacking in some way. These talents are powerful tools for inspiration, education and expression. We must not waste them. Life is too short for us to be lying around doing nothing but surf the Internet, gossip with friends, or achieve a Monster Kill or Kill Streak.
So we must sing our lungs out. Dance until we drop. Learn until our brains can’t take anymore. And show gratitude to the God who has blessed us.
When we honor God with the skills that we have, God will surely honor us back with what he has and we’ll find life ironically but utterly amazing. Just like Sparky.
Sparky was disappointed but not surprised. He had always been a loser, and this was just one more loss. In a weird way, he thought, his life was kind of funny. He tried telling his own life story in cartoons—a childhood full of the misadventures of a little boy loser, a chronic underachiever. This cartoon character soon became known around the world. The boy who failed the eighth grade, the young artist whose work was rejected not only by Walt Disney Studios but also by his own high school yearbook, was Charles Monroe “Sparky” Schultz—creator of the Peanuts comic strip, the iconic dog, Snoopy, and the little boy loser whose kite never flies: Charlie Brown.