Empty, crushed soda cans and Gatorade bottles in the corners.
Dirty cereal bowls piled in the kitchen sink.
Unidentified stains on the ottoman.
Poker chips and playing cards strewn about a sticky tile floor.
Rhythmically breathing, amorphous silhouettes on the couch and carpet.
The aftermath of a teenage sleepover.
I never minded the loud music or the raucous laughter over video game wipeout or feeding boys bushels of cereal, Oreos, and full-course meals. As a teen, my son had some great friends and I always wanted them to have full use of all the comforts of our home so I could know and spend time with the people who had ever-increasing influence over my only child. I wanted them to use what we had.
I didn’t want them to wreck what we had.
The concept is called stewardship and it’s the idea of using what God gives us with wisdom and with respect for the Giver. It has to do with our stuff. It has to do with our talents. Our time. Our relationships and emotions. It’s everything we’ve been given.
If someone gives me something that belongs to him, and I’m given the privilege and responsibility of it for a season, I had better take good care of it because I have a connection to the one who gave it to me. The same goes for the good gifts God has given me. I steward everything well because God wired me uniquely with the capability to do what I do best.
Once in a while I have to ask myself if there’s anything I’m wasting. I have limited potential, but am I using what I have to serve others and contribute to the greater good? Or am I treating the gifts I’ve been given with contempt and frittering away my time and resources out of a sense of entitlement or complacency? It’s a hard question and I don’t always like the answer.
What kind of steward are you of the gifts you’ve been given?