Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Flinging Food

Belle, our very beautiful Quarter Horse, has taught herself a new trick, and I can't say I'm pleased. This morning, she went into her stall for breakfast, stuck her lovely head into the feed trough, and immediately began flipping that fine head back and forth, flinging food out of the trough. She made several passes through the feed, then settled down to eat. In the process, she lost a fair amount of her meal. 

Lest you think that something was "in" her trough and she was just trying to get it out, let me assure you that the trough was fine less than sixty seconds prior, when I put the feed in there. Unfortunately, this is not the first time she's done the head-flipping, feed-flinging trick. She persists despite the fact that the "flung food" is never replaced. My explanations about wasting food and starving horses around the world have not helped, nor has putting the feed in the trough while she watches. When she's in a mood to fling, she just flings. Belle is extravagant with her feed and wasteful, as well. When I see her flinging the feed out of her trough, it does not make me want to feed her more. Less, maybe, but not more. 

As I watched feed falling to the floor this morning, I wondered how God views my extravagances with the resources He has entrusted to me. Does He sometimes shake His head and think, "If she could be more faithful with what I've already given her, I could trust her with more?" How does He view my waste? My lack of stewardship over some of the things He's entrusted to me? Frankly, God has blessed me with so much that I find it nearly impossible to responsibly manage it all. 

In fact, I'm not the only one with extravagances, nor am I the worst. We live in a nation of extravagance and we are a decadent society. You may disagree with me, but take a look at the definition of "decadent" and you might change your mind. "Low morals and a great love of pleasure", "luxuriously self-indulgent", "decay in standards or morals". Does that sound at all like our country? 

Scripture tells us, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."(Luke 12:48 NASB) WE are the ones who have been given much, and much will be required of us. Those are frightening words to me. Much will be required of us. It is required of stewards that they be found faithful (1Cor 4:2) and that is exactly the requirement for which we, who have been entrusted as stewards of wealth and freedom, will one day give account.

It breaks my heart to see the tragedies around the world, the hungry people, the homeless people. It breaks my heart that I could do more, but don't, because of my own extravagance. By the standards of many, I'm not at all extravagant, but by the standards of most people in our world, I am, and you are, too. I am not proposing that we stop enjoying the blessings God has given, but perhaps a little less pleasure would be in order. Perhaps a little less self-indulgence might allow us to give more, help more, do more. Those of us who can help, should help. 

Dear ones, take a few moments to consider your own stewardship of the blessings God has entrusted to you.  Have you invested in the Kingdom of God? Have you made a lifestyle of generosity toward those in need? How will you give an accounting when that time comes? 

May we not be like Belle, needlessly extravagant and wasteful. Instead, let's make a habit of generosity and splurge on giving so that, when the time for accounting comes, we will have only good news to report to the One who has given so much to us.