When you think of the word stewardship, what comes to mind for you?
I always affiliated this word with stewarding finances. Tithing, saving, pay taxes, these are the responsible ways to steward. I was always pretty good with stewarding my money. I never really accumulated debt, paid off my car in five years instead of the 7 year term that was outlined, bought a condo when I was 28 and panicked if my credit card went over $2,000. I considered myself a good steward.
God has been speaking to me for a long time about what it means to steward ourselves. I remember reading the parable of the talents for the hundredth time (raised in church) and seeing it differently. The servant that hid the talents in the ground was disciplined for mismanaging the money. This was me, I thought, but it has nothing to do with money. I have hidden myself away thinking I was keeping myself safe. Meanwhile, all the gifts and talents God had placed in me were doing nothing but decomposing underground. Terrified of school, incapable of making decisions for myself, and lacking the belief I could even do anything of importance, I sat, not stewarding all the good things God has put in me.
Next month this changes. I have enrolled in a counselling diploma course. I have reached the place that Jordan Peterson talks about, where your fear moves from in front of you to behind you, from a place of intimidation to a place of motivation, pushing you forward insteading of holding you back. The fear of NOT doing it has become big enough that I must do it. I must move forward. God has already shown his blessings in this by providing me resources and knowledge, preparing me for this next stage.
Alongside this journey of self stewardship, God has more recently been speaking to me about the importance of stewarding his creation. The Bible and church put a lot of significance on money when it comes to stewardship, and there are valuable lessons to be learned there, as money can be a method of quick deception and fast sin. However, before the creation of money there was just creation. Humankind was created as stewards of the land and beasts. We were to steward them.
During one of my anxiety induced prayer sessions with God about money, God told me there are more important things to him than money. We live in a world destination city, full of agricultural land, wilderness and beauty. All I had to do was look around to realize what God was talking about. His creation, his land, his animals were more important to him than money.
God told King Solomon that he could ask him for anything, anything he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom. God was so impressed by this request that he ended up giving Solomon wisdom, wealth and power. About a year and a bit ago, when God revealed to me the importance of stewarding his creation, I started asking God for wisdom. In particular, I asked for the “Wisdom of Adam and Eve”. That God would teach us how to steward his land. It was shortly after this that we moved into our current house, where our small journey of stewarding land and animals could really start to flourish.
We have been a consumerist population for too long. We forgot how to steward the small piece of earth we are given. No, this is not a climate change rant. We forgot our true nature and purpose. Stewardship is important to God, but not just the stewardship of money, the stewardship of ourselves, the stewardship of the land and beasts. These are his creation, you are his creation, this is what he takes joy in. When we enter a place where we can delight in his creation, whether that be us, the land, the beasts and the beauty, he delights in us too.
Rhett and I are on this journey right now, this journey of stewardship, of entering into his creation, his beauty. We are on a journey of the wisdom of Adam and Eve.