There once was a man who found a newspaper on his driveway. He didn’t subscribe to a paper, so he was surprised to see it. He enjoyed browsing through his unexpected source of news, comics, and coupons and then didn’t give it any more thought.
The next morning as he headed to his mailbox, he saw another paper in his yard. It seems the regular paperboy for his neighborhood was on vacation for a month, and his replacement was confused about the route.
On Day Three, there was another newspaper. Even though our hero wasn’t accustomed to having a paper to read in the morning, he was beginning to enjoy his new paper and coffee routine.
Then one day the man went outside to get the paper and was shocked to find it wasn’t there? (The regular paperboy had returned from his month off.) The man was VERY upset. He stormed back into the house, slammed the door, and kicked the cat. “Where is MY paper?” he shouted. “How can I drink my coffee without a paper to read with it?”
“What do you mean YOUR paper?” his wife asked. “You don’t subscribe to the paper. Those papers you’ve been reading weren’t yours.”
The man in this story reminds me of myself sometimes. I’ve got a really good life. I live in the wealthiest country in the world. I have a great job. I can eat at restaurants that serve just about any kind of food I want. And sometimes I start to think that the money I have is mine because I earn it. I forget that NOTHING I have is mine, but that “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).
Do you remember the old movie, Shenandoah? At one point in the film, Jimmy Stewart’s character, Charlie Anderson, offers thanks for the meal he and his family are about to eat. “Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eating it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we’re about to eat. Amen.”
Charlie seemed to have the same problem many of us have… sort of an amnesia. We forget that EVERYTHING we have is God’s. We are simply stewards of HIS stuff for a short while.
What are you doing with God’s stuff? Are you spending it on yourself? Are you hoarding it to make your future secure? Or do you think of yourself as someone who’s just holding God’s stuff for Him and using it to do the good works He would do if He were the one holding it?
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot, missionary martyr