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What's On Your Cardboard?


A few weeks ago, we saw this man rise to fame in less than 48 hours thanks to his golden voice.  No matter how this story pans out, it all started with a piece of cardboard, a talent and a message.

We Each Have a Golden Voice

Perhaps it’s not a set of pipes that makes us an instant radio and television celebrity.  For now, that one belongs to Ted.

But chances are, there is at least one thing that you can do that is your unique God-given talent.  Do you know what it is?

A few Sundays back, during a conversation at my church, this question was posed to me by someone who I deeply respect as a leader:

“What talent do you have to give back to the world?”

I thought it was interesting to see almost all of us sitting around the table squirm at the thought of answering.  In a public setting, not many people like to talk about what they are good at.  Society and our peers tell us it’s not polite to talk about ourselves.  Our parents and pre-school reading books warn us against the social dangers of being boastful.  We hear all the time in the social space that it’s generally more acceptable to talk about others more than we do ourselves.

While I agree with all of that and try to abide by our culture’s rules as best I can, at the end of the day, we each have a golden voice.

Your Cardboard

For the sake of this post, and because I’m interested to know, all rules are off.  Okay?

I want to challenge you.  If you had to write down your most valued God-given talent, skill or gift onto a piece of cardboard like Ted’s, what would it say?  Pretend it’s your last chance to get that talent noticed by a passerby.  What message would you craft?  Remember that you will need to be brief.  Both cars on highway ramps and readers of blogs pass by quickly.

For bonus points, take a picture of yourself with your piece of cardboard, and drop a link in the comments.  I’ll embed the images here and give you a link back to wherever you like.

Sound fair?

  • Jacob Stoops

    I wouldn’t call it a God-given talent, but I can sing and draw better than most!

    • nateriggs

      That’s a talent for sure. How are you using it?

  • Kristin Slaughter

    I love to play and teach beginning mountain dulcimer…. and to help other people. What can I do for you today?

    • nateriggs

      Nice. My Aunt plays dulcimer for her church. It’s a cool instrument. :) As for me, you’ve been reading here. That’s more than enough. Thank you…

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  • Anonymous

    I love this article and the challenge.

    For me, it’s less a talent, and more of a blood, sweat, and tears learned skill, but: I have developed the ability to communicate some of my deepest, darkest truths in an entertaining and readable way.

    • nateriggs

      I would agree with that. And what I like best is that you are using your talent. That’s giving a gift…

      • Anonymous

        Well, thanks! I have definitely learned that talent is simply a stepping
        stone or spring board into greater things. People who only have talent and
        are able do great things without practice are savants (think Kim Peek, the
        real “Rain Man”). Often savants are so overwhelmed with talent, they have
        difficulty interacting or participating in a give and take with others. But,
        people who have talent and THEN work their asses off to be great and are
        also able to participate in the repartee of life? That’s a bit more like
        reality…and something to aspire to.

        Thanks again for the challenge in this article.

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  • tantell

    I’d like to think my cardboard could read “Diffuser”.

    Throw me in a room with two people who simply CANNOT see eye to eye and give me an hour. They’ll walk out holding hands singing Kum ba yah before they know it.

    Well, maybe not holding hands. And probably not singing. But they’ll definitely be walking next to each other – humming Kum ba yah.

    • nateriggs

      Nice. :) That’s definitely a gift! You’re saving relationships…

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