I once watched the home of a family going on vacation that had an incredible yard. It was lush, full of life and well kept by the man in the family. As he showed me all the nuances of keeping his yard while they were away, he pointed to a corner with two magnificent trees. He explained that these particular trees dropped leaves just about every day, and those leaves would build up and cover the yard if left on the ground. He made a habit to pick them up everyday, but said if it was too tedious for me, he understood. It wasn’t required of me in taking care of his home.
Early in my stay, a heavy rainstorm hit. The next morning, I found that those trees had dropped an unreal amount of leaves. I set it in my mind that I would tackle the task of cleaning them up, one by one. It was morning, but the East Coast humidity was picking up fast. Before I knew it I was sweating, dirty, and felt that I was making no progress. I wanted to take a break, or maybe even push the rest off until tomorrow, or really just quit altogether—but I couldn’t stop.
I had once seen the way the yard could be. That image in my mind drove me. I knew that if I just pushed through it, stayed the course and attended to each leaf, then the yard would be beautiful, and I could enjoy it to the full.
The whole ordeal reminded me of a story Jesus shares, captured in Matthew 25. For a quick Sparknotes version, a master goes away on a long trip, and entrusts three servants with portions of his riches to steward until he returned. Stewardship is taking care of someone else’s belongings with their best interest in mind. And just as the homeowner with a beautiful yard entrusted his home for me to steward while he and his family were away on a trip, so God entrusts us each with this life to steward until He comes or we go to be with Him in Heaven.
It’s not a requirement, but if we have a heart that values what God values, we’ll go out of our way to take care of the things He has entrusted us with. God rewards that. In the story, two of the servants put effort into what they were each given, multiplied their share, and were in turn given even more. The third servant did nothing, burying his share, to which the master revealed that he totally missed the point. How will you choose to steward your share of life? We can give up and bury our potential prematurely when life gets hard, or we can choose to invest in our faith, take action and multiply what God has entrusted us with.
Stewarding this life is no easy thing to do. There are times it can feel a lot like picking up endless leaves in a backyard. It takes time, effort, and commitment. But just as a vision of what the yard could be drove my hands-on experience, a God-sized vision for our life can help us press on through challenges and temptations to enjoy a rich and satisfying life. Ask God to give you a vision for whatever you’re struggling with: your job, your home life, your body image…whatever it is, even just a glimpse of what could be can show us that the seemingly meaningless tasks at the workplace, restoring of that broken relationship, or running that extra mile is actually an act of stewardship that prepares us for a God-sized future.
There is no promise in life that the journey will be easy, but the reward is great for we who refuse to quit. Never give up, never give in, and never bow out when things get tough. There are more dreams to be had and promises to be fulfilled; more potential to be developed and life to be lived. You are a champion, a warrior, and more than a conqueror. You were made for this. With a God-sparked vision for your future, His plan, and for your purpose on this planet, allow me assure you of this truth today: you are unstoppable.