Day 210 – What Has God Given Me?
On: May 29, 2015 | By: SWLadmin
| Under: Blog
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Am I making good use of my resources, the gifts I have been given? This is the central theme of chapter 16.
Whether it is the story of the shrewd manager having to get himself out of a hole; or the rich man, having ignored the poor man at his gate, then seeing, too late, the error of his ways – in both cases, they got it wrong. One had time to do something about it; the other discovered he had left it too late.
Let’s consider two perspectives here: firstly, are we hoarding our resources, using them principally for our own benefit, or simply using them ineffectively? Jesus’s clear message is that we need to get our act together. For if we can be trusted with little, we will be entrusted with more, both in earthly affairs and in the heavenly economy. That’s quite straight forward.
The second perspective is more subtle. Let me explain it by a personal story. This morning, I met with a financial advisor to review options going forward. Actually, I need to go back further. As I write, I am half way between birthday no. 57 and 58. I have been in the same job for nearly 30 years, albeit in a very much senior position than when I started! 2 years ago, with God’s leading, I embarked on a new venture, the result of which was a book, “Riding the Tide”, published in 2013.
12 months ago, I reduced my working week to 4 days to enable me to spend more time writing, and develop a new website, www.simonwardlondon.com, on which have been appearing daily blogs “In the Footsteps of the King”, of which this is Day 210. Other planned output, some of which may have appeared by the time this sees the light of day, will include videos and music and another book on 21 Bible Heroes. So, lot’s to do. All good, so far.
It’s not easy, though, churning out all this stuff in addition to a busy day job in central London. And the pressure can get you down. Not so much that it involves hard work, rather the relentlessness of it all, particularly after three decades. I have rationalised that sticking with the day job gives authenticity to the writing, as it is stimulated by the daily pressures we all face. But I confess to feeling a bit stranded until the day arrives when I can afford to retire, which I believe to be quiet a few stressful years hence.
That is, until my meeting with Duncan this morning. Having fed into him details of all the various pots of cash squirrelled away over the years, it was time to see what the reality was. Years of slog to go? Retirement at 70?!
Actually, it showed that with management of the available funds, I could retire today. Having listened to years of media doom-mongery that the pension world was a mess, I had assumed that I was way back on the curve. None of it. A whole world of options, at a blink, had opened up before me, without my doing anything other than taking stock of what I already had.
Which brings me back to where I took a diversion. If I haven’t taken stock of my resources, how can I use them wisely? There I was, moaning to myself and sometimes others, that I felt chained to my office desk, when all the time the reality was quite different. I guess, I would have been just as guilty of not using my resources well as if I knew the facts and was not utilising them effectively.
Know what God has given you. Otherwise, how can you use it well?
Looking forward, this new discovery doesn’t mean I suddenly bale out of where I am and move to the countryside to enjoy the peace and quiet … tempting as the idea is! I believe I am where God wants me for the time being. But the sense of freedom, flowing from the realisation of the options before me, is hugely liberating.
Back to the parables: I have found out, in time to do something about it, that I am not making best use of my resources, as I was simply unaware of them. Taking stock of what I have, gives me freedom to consider how best to use the gifts God has given me, under His direction.
Father God, open my eyes to the resources You have given me, to enable me to exercise the gifts You have given me – that I might use both well – for the extension of Your Kingdom. Amen.