The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. –Genesis 2:15
Stewardship. The job of taking care of something. Simple enough word. Simple enough concept.
The Bible quote from Genesis speaks of stewardship. In the Book of Genesis, right after God creates the heavens and the earth, right after creating the seas, the plants, the animals, and then us humans in his own image, what does He do next?
He creates the Garden of Eden for Adam. He pulls Adam aside, shows him the place He made for him to live, and says, “cultivate and care for it.”
God tasks Adam with stewardship. God puts his trust in Adam to take care of something special. Think about it. The first thing God tasks us with as humans is to take care of Creation.
Genesis 2:15 is one of the most influential lines in the whole Bible in my opinion. This line is one that drives me in many aspects of my life. Leave things as good as you found them and, if possible, leave things a little better off.
Stewardship is the first job as humans that our Creator gives to us beyond “be fruitful and multiply.” The call to stewardship, though, kind of gets lost in the bit of Genesis that follows about the forbidden fruit. We sometimes need a reminder we are called to be stewards. We are trusted to take care of things.
Our first job from God, taking care of the gifts we’re given, might be our most important job. Yet, do we act as good stewards of our gifts in today’s throw-away culture?
Have we allowed the things we are trusted with to rot and fall apart instead of maintaining them? It takes dedication, work, and will to be good stewards of what we’re entrusted with.
Globally, nationally, and locally, we are called to take care of the gifts we’re given, Whether it’s oceans, lakes, prairies, communities, libraries, schools, or even parks, those that came before trusted us to do our job as stewards.
Are we up to the task or do we fail at the job we were entrusted to do? Once we neglect our responsibilities as stewards, either individually or collectively, we lose the trust of others. And trust, my friends, is a tough thing to get back.
Stewardship builds community. The ground we all walk on as we go about our daily lives and share with our neighbors is a gift.
We have to take care of the gifts we’re given. We have to be strong enough to take the first step and do the job. We need to be good stewards.
Stewardship takes work. As Sirach says,
“Do not hate hard work; work was assigned by God.” – Sirach 7:15
Be a good steward. Start today with baby steps. Strive daily to make the world and community you live in a little better place.