How is your stewardship today? Are you a good member of your community? These might be interesting questions because I find very few people understand what stewardship means or why it is important. However, it is an essential aspect of Divine Community and we all should evaluate our roles as stewards.
What is a Steward?
A steward is one who has the responsibility for managing or looking after property or events. We have paid stewards who look after us in various situations but stewardship goes beyond what one is paid to do. The native tribes understood that human beings are stewards for the resources of Mother Earth. Most people see themselves as stewards for property that they own. However, in a community, everyone must be a steward for everything they use if the community is to operate for the highest good of all.
Going to Webster’s Dictionary, stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. It is not just for what we own or for what we are paid to manage. It is for everything entrusted to our care. In unity and oneness, that means the property we use, the projects in which are participants, and the people of our community. And, our community does not stop with our family, our neighborhood, or our city. It is our state, our country, and the world. We are brothers and sisters of humanity, we are citizens of this planet, and we are members of the universe. Our community extends all the way to Source.
Lack of Ownership Does Not Mean Lack of Stewardship
When I was in my early thirties, my husband I flew from North Carolina to Colorado for a vacation. Obviously, we rented a car. We went to a National Forest office for information on some hiking trails. The gal at the desk recommended a trail down a dirt road but she also asked if we had a 4-wheel drive vehicle. We reply that we were in a rental car. She smiled and said, “The same thing.” We all laughed. When my husband and I retold that story, our friends laughed, too.
What I thought was funny then is not funny now. When I rent or borrow a vehicle, I am a steward for that vehicle. I am as responsible for taking care of that property as if I owned it. Lack of ownership does not mean lack of responsibility. It can be an easy excuse not to take care of something but there are no true excuses for lack of stewardship. If we do not want other people to trash our property, why is it okay to trash someone else’s?
As I travel the United States, it is easy to see those who treat the world with respect and those who do not. I am enheartened when I hear parents teaching their children to clean up after themselves, to be neat, and to be respectful. I must allow and detach when I hear parents tell their children to leave their trash because someone else will clean it up. I can only practice stewardship for myself, not for the world.
Stewardship and Community
A community works when everyone in the community works for the highest good of all. This includes stewardship. Stewardship is a form of giving that encompasses honor, respect, compassion, caring, and reverence. Since everything is a mirror, lack of stewardship reflects a lack of those qualities within ourselves.
Hopefully, you are already a great steward and these qualities shine within you. But, can you also allow and detach when others are not? It’s always something, isn’t it?