When we count our gifts and come to the realization that everything we have is a gift from our heavenly Father, it only makes sense that we develop a need to give. To give of our time, our talent, our treasure, and our prayers. It took me a while to realize that I needed to step up my giving in all of these areas.
I thought that I was doing okay. But when I was honest with myself, I knew that I could do more. I could find many instances when I was selfish with my time. I allowed doubt and fear to keep me from sharing the talents that God had given me. I was stingy with my money, always finding some family or personal need that was more important than increasing contributions to church and diocese. And my prayer life was something I would fit into my life and wasn’t treated as a priority.
My change of heart came through prayer and reflection that was probably sparked through one of my retreat experiences. I started reading scripture a little more and praying more often. I started to find a little quiet time and began to realize that I could do more, that I needed to do more.
It was a gradual process, but I started to challenge myself to do a little more than I had in the past. I decided to make each Advent and each Lent season a little more focused; to do a little more each time that pledge card was passed out. I began to take a few chances, saying “YES” to a fourth grade religion class, joining a 6am prayer group, even learning to make balloon animals. Each “YES” was rewarded by so many more blessings.
I can’t commit to being a better disciple-steward without God’s grace and blessings. I pray that He will continue to push and guide me to do better today, than yesterday, better tomorrow, than today.
Deacon Gary Steffes