God created the world and pronounced it good. He created mankind giving him dominion over all the Earth. Then almost immediately God commissioned him to care for it and tend it — stewardship. What God has called good must be, at least through our senses, beautiful.
We read in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “God has made everything beautiful in its time. While He has put eternity into man’s heart, he cannot understand all of what God has done.”
I believe it is one of the more interesting statements concerning the nature of mankind. It tells us that everything has some kind of beauty (we don’t always look for it). It tells us that our spirits are eternal (our spirits actually know that and behave that way). It tells us that while we strive to understand everything, we simply can’t do it (but we keep on trying anyway).
We think of stewardship as being responsible for something — oversight, care, maintenance, etc. Of course those things are stewardship, but I think the things in Ecclesiastes 3:11 are also included.
I believe, for example, that we have a duty to recognize the beauty God has put in the world; to point it out to others and make it more noticeable whenever we can in whatever ways we can. That bit of stewardship includes developing and using the arts and talents God gave us. Which is probably why He gave them to us.
Our spirits are eternal — our visible, physical bodies are not. Our spirits, therefore, have the fiduciary responsibility of caring for the bodies God gave us for as long as we have them — stewardship.
We can have only a limited understanding of what God has done. But God made us with a hunger to know Him. Therefore, the more carefully we attend to that hunger, the more we can appreciate Him — stewardship.
Are you taking the time to recognize the beauty God has made? Not just pointing out the easy things like a beautiful picture, a lush green valley or a majestic mountain, but are you finding beauty in a piece of wood, a bit of fabric, a leaf, a twig or a lump of flour dough? Are you making that beauty visible to others? Can you find it in the turn of a phrase, a delightful aroma, a painting, a sculpture, a way of washing laundry or dishes? It’s in all those things somewhere.
The dullness and sameness of humanist issues like equality and fairness seem to be gaining ground in our society while the stewardship and recognition of God’s beauty is not. Isn’t that stewardship part of our very purpose for existence. Aren’t the differences between us and the beauty we can see and feel things that make our lives worthwhile?
What are you doing about it? How are you using your talents?
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