The Last Word…

My parents are returning from Florida soon to collect their Bichon Frise, Lacey, and make their way home. It has been an interesting week. Having another dog around – especially one that is a fraction of the size of the other two – brings its own set of challenges. For instance:

–How and where to feed her (she is accustomed to casually dining on her food while our dogs will gobble up anything put in front of them – or her)

–Preventing escapes (she’s small enough to dart through the door when you’re not looking)

–Grooming (Lacey has cottony white fur that quickly turns a dull grey after a few days in our back yard)

–Sleeping arrangements (Our two – Samson and Delilah – are used to sleeping in their own beds. Just as at her house, Lacey gets to sleep with mom and dad)

We’ve had our share of close calls over the past week. Once, I let Lacey out forgetting the back gate had been left open. I spent the next 10 minutes chasing her down the street, praying she wouldn’t dart in front of a car. Of course, she thought it was great fun.

When you are caring for someone else’s pet, you want to return them whole and healthy and clean. Lacey got a bath last night – and unless she gets a chance to roll in the dirt – we should be able to deliver her back to my folks just as they left her. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only acceptable option. I certainly hope someone would try to do the same for me.

In a sense, you might say we are Lacey’s stewards in the absence of her owners. She doesn’t belong to us, yet we have the responsibility to care for her. The parallel (or perhaps “parable”) for this in our lives is that God has also called us to be stewards: of our money, our church, our environment, our very lives. God, the creator, is the owner – “it is he that made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3) Even as God watches over us and provides for us, it is our job to care for all those things with which we have been entrusted.

I happen to know when my parents are returning, so I can be prepared. Jesus made it clear there is never a time when we should be anything less than prepared. In Mark 13, Jesus says, “ It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

Here are a few questions to think about as we make our Lenten journey toward the new beginnings of Easter: Are you a good steward? In what parts of your life might your stewardship be improved? Remember, there’s no better time than now to do the right thing.