EVERYDAY STEWARDSHIP

stewardshipCaught in the Rising Action
    Think of some of your favorite iconic movies. I’m not talking about the feel-good comedies or the offbeat coming-of-age flicks. I’m talking about the movies that you found had a profound impact on you or made you go “Hmmm.” I’m willing to bet that the plot of this film features some tough moments and difficult scenarios. However happy the ending, at some point, the situation for the protagonist might look awfully hopeless. The script speaks some truth to you about what it is to be human in difficult circumstances. What it means to persevere. We’re attracted to the tension that exists when the hero is besieged. We’re captivated by the decisions he makes in the darkest hour of the night when it seems like the dawn will never come. Why? Because we know that feeling so well. This is the essence of our human life on earth: waiting, hoping, doubting — and enduring. We know the ending to our story, but we don’t know when it’s coming. We live our whole lives in the rising action of the narrative. Sure, it gets old. Tiresome, even dull. We may start to despair that the climactic scene is coming at all. But faith is the realization of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen. We feel it watching a great movie, because we recognize it intuitively: it is faith which earns the happy ending. No one is drawn to the story when the hero gives up or gets tired of waiting for the payoff. Everyday stewardship is the collection of choices we make while we’re waiting, because we are called to action, not idleness, even in our perpetual state of expectation.. 
-Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS





When Sacrifice Becomes Mundane--It seems to happen every year, like clockwork: we drag a bit, as we enter into the second week of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we feel a bit like soldiers banging our shields, rushing into battle. “We’re ready, God!” our hearts cry out. “Transform us through sacrifice! Your will be done!” But by now, these Lenten resolutions are no longer novelties — they’ve joined the ranks of everyday inconveniences, which somehow are the hardest to bear. Because transformation, in real life, happens in inches, just as a battle is won slowly in the crash of one sword against another. It’s not always a dramatic thing, to the naked eye. It’s the perseverance in prayer despite weariness, or the continual denial of some pleasure even though there’s that nagging voice in our minds saying: go ahead, God doesn’t really mind. It’s a week when we all need a shock to the system — and wouldn’t you know it, this Sunday God gives us a double-whammy of dramatic sacrificial scenes. We picture Abraham, who also cried “Ready!” when God called, never imagining what He would ask: the surrender of his long-awaited son. We see Christ himself transfigured, as God shows us what He is ready to give up for love of us. We must remain committed, persevering daily in acknowledging that everything belongs to God. What we sacrifice, we simply give back to Him. If God is for us, who can be against us? Can we still reply, “Ready!” when we hear the call of God? —
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