By Dave Eitland
We pray each Sunday, “All things come from you, O Lord. And of your own have we given you. Amen”
As some of you know, Katheryn and I have just moved again. We have a lot of stuff. Not as much as we once had, but as we move it and unpack it again, it is more than I want it to be. Sometimes I wonder if I want to be “blessed” by all of this stuff, but being raised by a generation not so far from the Great Depression and living through the Recession of the past years, I am sometimes hesitant to get rid of my stuff. So I put my stuff into a storage bin that I drive to when I don’t have room for my stuff in the house or garage I now have.
And everyone has stuff. The cable show Storage Wars tells me of a whole industry built around people abandoning or not able to afford their stuff, which gets sold at auction. And I admit it is fascinating to watch the “treasures” people store in their bins and what they are worth. We as a nation have a lot of stuff.
When I pack and unpack I continue to ask “Do I need all of this stuff?”
If all things come from you, O Lord, and you give me many things and stuff, I need to get rid of the stuff before you bury me in your blessings. I can’t believe the amount of stuff I have recycled or given away to Goodwill or the thrift stores.
I believe there is one Divine Economy where part of my ministry as a discipline is to make sure the stuff God gives me gets put to use. I have found more and more that God is so generous He gives me stuff that I can’t use and that I need to pass along into the Divine Economy so that others might use these treasures God once gave me, so that others can have these treasures and experience the abundance of God.
God gives me more than just stuff in God’s Diving Economy. According to Martin Luther writing about the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” says,
“God gives us food and drink, clothing, house and home, a body, helps us manage our household, gives us and still preserves a spouse (partner), children, work, vocation, craft or occupation, faithful neighbors, good friends, good government, protects us from all harm, wisdom, strength, prosperity, and all we need from day to day.”
In the Divine Economy, God gives us all things that makes life good and protects us from the bad.
In thinking about my giving and all that I have been given, I need to constantly remind myself that I return only a small portion of my time, talent, and financial resources in order for God to do God’s good work in this Divine Economy. How much stuff can I give away to be a blessing for others?