There are two quotes from two very different books that have been working on me lately. I want to share both of them with you.
Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.
~A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born. It is the action that was designed into us before our birth.
~Eugene Peterson, Run with Horses
In his own small way, Piglet reminds me that gratitude is not about the size of my possessions, the size of my home or even the size of my heart: it is about the attitude that I choose to bring to each new day of my life. Peterson reminds me that giving is part of who I am as a human being when I am living at my best.
But, when I think about these two quotes in juxtaposition, the connection I make is that gratitude is what motivates me to give to others and live at my best, whether I am giving my money, my time, or my talents. And it’s true.
I want to give money toward helping others further their education because I am grateful for the learning opportunities made possible to me by scholarships. I want to offer my gift of language to help interpret because I am grateful for the times when someone else served as a bridge to another culture for me. I want to make and deliver meals to families after they have a baby because I am grateful for the ways people supported me after my daughter was born.
Giving generously is motivated by gratitude.
We are entering a season in the church year of talking about stewardship. Our theme this year is “Inward, Onward, Outward.”
In the words of Ruth and Adrian Sulser,
“Stewardship connotes responsibility that begins within each of us and encompasses our relationship with God (inward). Stewardship is also a bridge that spans the distance between our past and future and to one another (onward). Finally, stewardship encompasses our vision, our mission, and call to serve others (outward).”
As we enter the next few weeks, I invite you to prayerful reflection about the things, people, community and experiences, you are grateful for. Ask God to show you how to give generously in response and how to be a good steward of that which you have been entrusted.
I’ll be praying with you.