It is Enough

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BY LAURA WATSON |

Around the world, millions of people have been tuning in to the World Cup in Russia to watch their nation’s soccer team compete for the title of world champion. Tomorrow, Croatia and France will face off in the World Cup final. 

I love the World Cup (even if my country didn’t qualify to compete!). I love watching as players push themselves to go faster and harder, to persevere through pain, and to work together with their teammates for a common goal. I find myself yelling at the television….“Go, go, go!” I can only imagine what it’s like for the athletes’ families and friends.

Image of a goal being scored in soccer

Photo by Vitaly Krivosheev via Adobe Stock

We live in a culture that tends to yell at us as well….”Go, go, go!” Work harder. Climb the ladder. Go for the gold. Be all that you can be. Achieve. Shoot for the moon. Aim for the stars. You get what I mean.

Striving to be the best is important, but when is it okay to say, “It is enough.”? Especially since the “go, go, go” mindset is often paired with “more, more, more”? We’re inundated with marketing messages to get the car with more features, the phone with more storage, and the insurance plan with more coverage. And who doesn’t want more? I know I do.

When I think of myself as a steward, I have to acknowledge the need to shift my mindset. Father Andrew Kemberling of St. Thomas More parish in Centennial, Colorado, once wrote, “Stewardship is a gift from God for the conversion of a materialistic world. It is living out a commitment to be Christ-centered rather than self-centered and involves a conversion of the heart.”

This really speaks to me and invites me to acknowledge that it is enough. I have enough. God has blessed me abundantly and I am to receive His gifts gratefully and share them with others. I can’t imagine praying, “More, more, more!”, and yet that is oftentimes how I live.

Christ-centered rather than self-centered. A conversion of the heart. What an invitation.

So while I will continue to yell at my favorite soccer players as they push to fulfill their World Cup dream, I will remember that it is enough. I have enough. And that means I will live my life differently. I will strive to answer Christ’s call to renew the face of the earth. I will celebrate God’s everlasting love and that I am his. I will experience the joy and deepening faith that comes from proclaiming, “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”

And It Is Enough.

An image of the mountains at Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center | Photo by Andrew David Cox

The mountains at Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center | Photo by Andrew David Cox

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image of Laura Watson

Photo via MMFA.info

Laura Watson is the Director of Stewardship and Development Services for the Moravian Ministries Foundation of America. Laura joined the Foundation in April of 2012. A native of Winston-Salem and member of Home Moravian Church, she has worked in the Florida school system, at Salem College, and as Assistant Director of Laurel Ridge, the Southern Province’s camp and conference center.

When she’s not busy with stewardship and capital campaign consulting for the Foundation, Laura enjoys running and fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), as well as traveling with her husband, Mark. She has served on the Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees and the Salem Academy Alumnae Board and currently serves on the Triad JDRF Board of Directors.

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Leapfrogging Negativity

Fun outdoorsIn this interesting post on Stewardship, Bob Sitze (author of the forthcoming  Simple Enough: A Companion Along the Way) discusses the importance of asset mapping as part of a stewardship process.  Sitze describes stewardship ministry as beginning with many presumptions about great and continuing neediness.  He sees “asset-based planning and thinking” as one way to “leapfrog negativity,” and we could all benefit from a little more of that!!

Right now you may be thinking about how to fund God’s mission or how to ask people to join in that task. Start your thinking and planning with your already-existing assets—God-given gifts that are useful.

How can you do some asset mapping within your own congregation? If you’re a self-starter, visit this website and do your own asset mapping exercise, or simply grab Luther Snow’s classic book on the topic. If you’re overwhelmed (aren’t we all?) and need a bit of assistance, contact us here at the Board of Cooperative Ministries. We can not only help guide your congregation through the process of asset mapping, we can also help you identify who your neighbors actually are and begin to think about ways to serve them or invite them to join you.  The Northern and Southern Province partnered recently to give our North American congregations access to an online demographics tool called MissionInsite. Find out more about our relationship with MissionInsite and how you can use this valuable tool.

The Ground of the Unity offers us some still-timely guidance about how stewardship ought to look, and it might surprise you:

Our Lord Jesus entered into this world’s misery to bear it and to overcome it. We seek to follow Him in serving His brothers and sisters. Like the love of Jesus, this service knows no bounds. Therefore we pray the Lord ever anew to point out to us the way to reach our neighbors, opening our hearts and hands to them in their need.
-Ground of the Unity, #9

Let’s work together as we open “our hearts and hands” to our neighbors in their need. When we operate from from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, we can accomplish much for the kingdom of God.

rcb~Ruth Cole Burcaw is the Executive Director of the Board of Cooperative Ministries. Part of her responsibilities includes offering coaching, consulting, training and facilitation to Southern Province congregations and RCCs. She’d love to hear from you!