Generations after me

One of the things that I most appreciate for people to pray for me is that I will be a good steward of what God has given me. Frankly, He's given me an awful lot. He's put me in a wealthy country where I have access to His word as often as I want, and where fellowship with other believers is a matter of course. I can go door-to-door with the name of Jesus and not get shot. I've had a tremendous education, with many teachers who have invested in my life. My parents rock out. My brothers are both strong and healthy. Heck, I'm strong and healthy, despite all my efforts to the contrary. I have a good mind and opportunities to use it. I've been given the incredible opportunity to read the New Testament in its original language. I have enough to eat, more clothing than I even want, and a guaranteed safe place to sleep every night. I'm on the Internet, which means I have access to a computer and to electricity. I don't have to purify my water before I drink it. I have a car, and I can mostly afford the gas to run it. I have so much. Only one percent of the world has graduated college, and I am in that one percent. I have been enormously blessed, even to the point of being spoiled.

That said, what do I do with all of this? God didn't give it to me just for me. I learned this semester in Klemata (another blessing) that when God pours into a person's life, He doesn't just do it to bless that person, but to bless others through the overflow. He makes our cups run over so we can pour into others' lives. I mean, just think how blessed each Christian is--even the poorest--compared to anyone else in the world. We have a real, meaningful relationship with the Maker of heaven and earth. We can come to Him, are in fact invited--even commanded--to do so. We have a loving Father, who remembers that we are only dust. We don't have to be bigger, or better, or funnier than we already are, because He knows us totally. He knows our limitations and our insecurities, and loves us anyway. He gives us lives worth living. He loved us enough to die for us. How do the lost live at all? I think that if I didn't know Him and didn't have His hope, I would have plowed into an overpass a long time ago. I am utterly blessed because I have been allowed to know God. It blows my mind that I can talk to the Creator of everything, and that He talks to me. How amazing is that?

Thing is, I take it for granted every day. I am not good at living intentionally, though I'm asking God to teach me. One of my favorite people is always talking about relentlessness, and as time goes by I'm starting to get what she's about more and more, and I want to be relentless. I have no idea what that means for me, but I want it. I want to live intentionally, running the race on the path set for me, and not being blown away every time the wind comes, and I want to be relentless about it.

Where did all this come from? Well, stewardship's a big deal. One of the greatest joys of my life is being able to tithe and to give to missions (that, by the by, is not natural for me; I hoard by nature, and tend to be miserly--thank God He changes people), and part of stewardship--the first part, I think, because it's the clearest, simplest discipline--lies in tithing. If I am faithful in something little, like the tithe, God will entrust me with bigger things, and as I become faithful in those, He will entrust me with yet bigger things. It's like Joseph--he was a faithful steward, and eventually he ran his master's entire household, and again, under Pharaoh, he was a faithful steward, and eventually he ran the kingdom. This is not to say that I want to be President, or anything. But I do want everything that God has for me, and I especially want to hear, when I see Him finally, "Well done, good and faithful servant." How awesome it would be, at the end of my life, to have the Almighty approve. But back to what I was saying earlier: stewardship's a big deal. I have tremendous examples of stewardship in my life (yet another blessing), and though I am not always a good steward (I have not been on time to work yet this summer, for instance--conviction? Yep.), I know what a good steward looks like. Dad preached on it two Sundays ago, even. And that's what I want. I want to be a good steward.

But what really prompted this somewhat long and digressive post is that I recently bought Sara Groves' Conversations, and I've been listening to it in the car (I consider the occasional buying of quality Christian music to be very good stewardship indeed, because it's like choosing wise friends to hang out with). One of her songs, "Generations," has as part of its chorus the lines, "Remind me of this with every decision / Generations will reap what I sow / I could pass on a curse or a blessing / To those I will never know." That's been ringing in my head ever since I heard it. What a responsibility I have! What a responsibility each of us Christians has! Do you realize, because we know Him, we are no less set apart than Samson, or Esther, or Peter, or Paul? We are priests, each of us, with access to the Holy of Holies, ever since the veil came down. The decisions we make do not affect us alone; they spread to others. Like Achan, who stole gold and garments from Jericho, causing Israel to lose to Ai, and like Esther, who took the opportunity to go through the doors God opened, our actions directly affect the body of Christ as a whole. We may not see it, but the effect is there. If one of my teeth hurts, the tooth itself doesn't know it's hurting, but the pain spreads through all of me, and that's our position as believers. Yes, like God said to Esther, He can raise up others to do what we were supposed to do; salvation will come, but we and our progeny miss out on the blessing. How serious this life is! And how cool it is that, because God has chosen to include me in His plan, my life matters. My stewardship matters. My being a warrior matters. My prayer matters. What a privilege.

No comments: