About a year ago, I was asked to lead a stewardship retreat at a parish in the Orlando, Fla., area. After arriving at the Orlando airport, I went to the rental car counter and got in line to get my car for the weekend. The agent quickly got me through the process of finding the reservation, initialing, agreeing, and signing where necessary.
When all was completed, she asked me, “Do you have any questions?”
I said to her, “Yes, I do. What is the meaning of life?”
She looked at me in a bit of a funny way and answered, “When you wake up in the morning, realize that each day is a blessing.”
That is a pretty good answer to a pretty deep question. It was an especially good answer while on my way to share with others my own experience of living stewardship as a way of life. The starting point to understanding the stewardship way of life is to realize that everything I have is a blessing, a gift from God. God provides me with all of these gifts, and I am to use them for the good of not just myself, but for everyone. I spend my life returning these gifts to God with increase.
Beginning the first moment of each day with a prayer of thanksgiving is a good way to return to God a few of the 1,440 minutes He gives us each day. A faithful steward develops an attitude of gratitude for everything about life. Personal prayer is an excellent way of expressing our thanks to God, as well as asking our heavenly Father for all the good things we pray for. Communal prayer, like faithful and regular participation in Mass, is the best way to give thanks to God for the many blessings He gives us each day.
The retreat went very well. I was impressed with the size of the parish and the active involvement of so many parishioners. They have a parish grade school of over 500 children, with a waiting list to get in. They have over 70 active ministries in their parish.
I told them, “You know, you are really blessed to be part of this parish.”
Some of them replied, “I know I am blessed, that is why I am here this weekend.”
So, what started as a whimsical question to a rental car agent became the occasion of helping me reflect quite a bit about my own attitudes about a stewardship way of life. Perhaps we all need to wake up and realize that “each day is a blessing.”