I look once more at the composition page entitled Stewardship. It is still blank. I resign that I shall try again tomorrow. I turn out the light and close my eyes. I can hear the heavy rain that beats harshly on the roof and the howl of the wind as it passes my window. I finish my prayers. My last thought before sleep overtakes me ... there will be no treasure hunt tomorrow.
I awaken to the sound of my sister’s voice and the hum of the fan. There is no more rain or wind. The tropical storm has passed. I open the blinds and I am greeted with a beautiful clear sky. The treasure hunt is on!
My sister and I make our way to the beach carrying our chairs, umbrella and bags for the treasured shells. The beautiful white clouds nearly take my breath away. I can smell the salt water and feel the breeze as it cools my skin.
Phyllis and I reach the top of the steps leading to the ocean and I gasp in awe. I have never seen so many sea shells. The force of the waves from the storm came in during the night bearing gifts. As far as I can see in either direction, they sparkle in the sun like diamond footprints in the sand.
I fill my bag with shells and return to my spot on the beach under my umbrella. I take out my composition page on stewardship and I close my eyes and pray. I cannot explain the sense of peace that envelops me. I feel like time is standing still. It is as though God has lifted a veil from my eyes and my brain is overcome with a myriad of abstract thoughts. I open my eyes. The waves of the ocean become more vivid. It is as though I am seeing them for the first time, yet each one independently. I am captivated by the variation of each wave. Some are higher, have more power with foam racing to the shore, while others roll effortlessly making a small ripple.
In that moment, I could see a correlation between stewardship and the waves traveling toward the shore bearing gifts. As God created the difference in each wave, he did also with each of us. Like the waves of the ocean gifting us with shells, where no two are alike, God has given each of us our own unique talents, skills, and individuality to share. Even though our lives may ebb and flow as the current at low and high tide, God is always with us. We owe everything we are and have to Him. He has entrusted us with this world, and the spreading of his gospel. Stewardship is our outward expression of thankfulness and obedience to God.
When we give to our church, we become part of its fabric and history. Together, we create greater opportunities for outreach. We sustain our place of worship, our church, where we gather as brothers and sisters in Christ loving and supporting each other. Stewardship is teaching Sunday school, bible study, singing in the choir, playing hand bells, volunteering for mission trips and so much more. It is the giving of our money, time, and talents, to glorify God and praise him. But, stewardship is not just what we tithe on Sunday or do for our church. It is living a life of faith and incorporating it so profoundly into our daily lives that we look only to God to guide our path. It is the footprints we leave every day.
“What kind of footprints am I leaving?” “Will they make God smile?”