Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Random Tales About the Quest for Stewardship III

In her defense, some of her buying is because it's hard to go from a house of 7 to a house of 1. BIG change. It's hard to buy and cook for 1 after you've spent 20 years w/7. If you buy too much in a house of 7 someone will eat it or their friends will. I hate throwing things out. I hate wasting food. But that's the way I was trained. I also don't like clutter but I also don't like dealing with it.

Ecclesiastes says there's a time to save and time to throw away. A time to give and not. Food comes in season and food comes on sale. But in our culture we don't need to buy and save large quantities of food. We don't need to buy and save large quantities of anything. It's always there. In season and out. We don't have to make everything by hand, which would also limit how much you own. We don't need more than a week's worth, or a day's worth of necessities in the city, unless we're preparing for a natural disaster. Don't laugh - we're not immune, especially if we think we are.

Reality check! My kids aren't going to take 1/7 of our combined household clutter when they leave home. They're not. So we're steadily learning to bag, donate, give away, and throw away. Many thanks to my 3rd daughter who randomly appeared in our house as a neat, organized person who throws things away and gets rid of stuff. (We still don't know where she came from. My maternal grandparents, maybe - emphasis on "maybe".)
Once you've got it, once it's in your house - use it, give it, or toss it unless it's seasonal or irreplaceable. That's what I'm working on 20 years late after all my excuses!

We learn how to use our resources from our parents (and the other people we spend time with) by their example - what they allow, what they don't allow. Looking back at our backgrounds George and I tipped the balance away from acute thriftiness to more generous living for our kids. George's parents and grandparents did that for him. My parents and grandparents tended to live the same way as the generation before.

We learn from our elders but then times change, life-styles change. You marry someone who didn't grow up the way you did or who works a job that requires a different lifestyle than the one you grew up with. You become part of a group of people who don't live the way you grew up. You have to rethink and readjust. If we're smart we'll keep going back to scripture.

A work in progress - God isn't through with us yet. I'm still trying to learn kingdom stewardship. My husband sees stewardship more from a business perspective. I just want to live right, give, and not have so much stuff to deal with. Actually, over the years, I'm not sure that any of us were actually trying to learn kingdom stewardship. We reduced it to work, tithing, sharing, saving, giving. And maybe that's the heart of it. We've even revisited the concept of tithing. We lived knowing we'd give account to Someone someday for our choices - the One with the cattle on 1000 hills, rich, generous, wise, non-patronizing. . . then He was poor but still giving. . . then He had nothing, or so it seemed, and He was still giving. The best steward ever!

In God's house, giving brings greater return than saving and being stingy. Living and giving! Our culture encourages borrowing to do that. We become slaves to someone besides our own savings or our own expected income. But if we're borrowing what isn't ours, it isn't ours. It's isn't ours to live with. It isn't ours to give. It never belonged to us in the first place.

Hmmm. . . it could be said that we're given a borrowed life to start with, lol, which is why stewardship matters . . . more theology than I want to ponder right now . . . another time . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment