Monday, June 20, 2011

The Earth is the Lord's

Reflections on Stewardship, by Elise White Diaz

This week I returned to Tegucigalpa. I returned to a day spent in traffic, just trying to get home. I returned to a faulty phone and internet connection. I returned to a house devoid of running water (until we could get it fixed). I had been spoiled in the United States for a month and forgotten what life was life for the majority of the world’s population.

In 2005, half of the world’s population lived on less than $2.50 a day ( 80 % of the world’s population lived on less than $10 per day. Recognizing how differently the majority of the world lives has important implications for how we steward the Lord’s resources.

Psalm 24:1-3 says it well: “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” And just as God once called Adam and Eve to take care of the garden, he also calls us to be stewards of the resources he made available to us on the earth. Stewards are people who manage another’s property or financial affairs (the Lord’s). They are not our resources to begin with. This is a scary proposition.

On Sunday Rey shared a story with AFE’s church congregation. It was the story of the chicken and the pig. One morning the chicken and the pig were hungry and brainstormed putting a breakfast together. The chicken said: “How about this? We each need to put in something, so it’s fair. I’ll put one egg in. All you need to do is supply the bacon.” “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said the pig. “That is hardly a fair proposition. It costs you next to nothing to supply the egg, but for me to supply the bacon is a whole other story. I would have to cut off a leg, or maybe even give my very life!”

What happens to us, Rey continued, is that we start just giving God our eggs, instead of our whole being, because it seems easier at the moment. But God calls for our everything: our time, and talents, and resources, our imaginations, our very selves. They were his to begin with and they will be his in the end, when we meet him face to face and he asks us how it went, how we stewarded all that he gave us to use for the expansion of his kingdom.

Daily, moment by moment, I am finding that I must remind myself that every blessing from God is not for my own enjoyment, but to invest in the work to which he has called me. I encourage you to do the same.