On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 47: Squandering God's Gifts

"No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62 RSV)

The story is told of a young woman, a senior in high school, who tried out for the lead in the high school’s spring play. She was a very talented young woman who wanted dearly to get that lead role. However, she was not chosen for the lead. She we offered a lesser, though significant, role in the play. In her disappointment she refused that role. In fact, she refused any role in the play. She spent her spring pouting in her room about that major disappointment.

Looking back on the situation later, the young woman was sorry she had wasted her entire spring. She was lonely and she missed being with her friends. The play was a success, and she could not be a participant in the happy times that followed. She said, “I learned a hard lesson that spring.”

As Jesus Christ made His way to Jerusalem for the last time, he was met by several people who want to follow Him and serve Him. Jesus first reminds them of the difficult road ahead. Some of the prospective followers then make excuses for not coming immediately. One has to bury his dead father. One wants to say good-bye at home. Following Christ, however, means no delay. Jesus says, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." So much for human excuses.

What Jesus has to do and what we have to do as His followers is more important than everything and anythings else. No matter what the excuse, it does not matter to the Master. Everything is to be sacrificed for God’s kingdom. If we have talents to use for the sake of the Kingdom, they are wasted if we misuse them, or, like the young woman in our story, we don’t use them at all. But seemingly much worse is to make excuse for using them later (which usually means not using them at all).

The young woman in our story missed out on the entire spring of her senior year. She missed her friends. She missed her opportunity to be a part of the group. All because she did not get her way. 

Good stewards give of their time and talents completely to God and the work that He can only do in us and through us. If we are to be followers of Christ, we must go. Go now. No excuses.

 This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

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