Making a Difference

A reflection by Teresa Keogh, friend and contributor to the Main Thing Blog

Last week I was working in Bangkok and was blessed by being able to add on 3 days holiday. I went to Kanchunabari – the site of the Bridge over the River Kwai.

bridge

It was incredibly moving to walk across the bridge and see the Burma railway; perhaps it was the heat and humidity that made me really appreciate how the prisoners of war had suffered so terribly. When I was reflecting on the experience I was struck by how easily we can misuse the gifts that God has given to us. How do I use my God-given gifts to make a positive difference in the world?

war-sign

I was also struck by this sign; it also reminded me of all those who fought for the common good and were killed in the process. They gave their lives so that ours might be better. Today I pray for all who have lost loved ones in war. I also pray that I use the gifts God has given me to make a difference, however small that may be.

The Big “E” is for Everything

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

surrender

We often say in the Church that stewardship is about the three T’s, time, talent, and treasure, but really, stewardship is about the big “E,” which is everything. We are made up of more than just our time, talent, and treasure, and the gifts that come from God are overwhelming. All that we have, from the obvious to the not so obvious, is a gift from God. We are called to cultivate them all and offer them back to God with increase.

But that also means holding nothing back. That requires a stepping out in faith. Our trust then cannot be in the gifts God gives, since we have hopefully given them all over to God. Only in God can we place our trust. Our homes, our 401k’s, our family, and our bodies all belong to God. With nothing left, we have nothing or no one else to put our trust in but God.

If you find yourself unable to place all of your trust in God, perhaps you are still holding something back. Is your comfort found in something other than God? It is pretty common for a Christian to “hide something away” while saying they are all in. But of course, nothing is hidden from God. Pray about it and ask God to grant the strength to surrender all to Him. We are asked to trust in God, but really, true trust is a fruit that comes about when we have had the courage to surrender it all. Trust is just a word if we continue to serve two masters. The great thing is that not only will God not turn away from us, God will also help us turn toward Him. You may be asked to surrender it all, but you are never alone.