My wife, April, has used the phrase “Stewardship: An Attitude of Gratitude” so often that she thinks she coined it. While the originator will probably remain anonymous, the first time I heard this phrase was from Monsignor Joseph Champlin, a gifted and well-spoken priest from the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y. As April and I recall, it was in the mid-1980s.
That phrase truly captures the crux of stewardship, and it was an appreciation we grasped early on in our stewardship journeys. I begin each day with the same prayer, and it is a pretty simple one. The moment I am awake, and I realize it (I am not fond of alarms), I pray, quite simply, “Thank you, God.”
In fact, I can comfortably say that I probably say that simple prayer hundreds of times each day. It may be inspired by something that has occurred, but it can just as easily be inspired by hearing the song of a bird, or seeing the smile of a baby.
Are you aware that there are 86,400 seconds in each 24-hour day? It takes a second to say “Thank you” to the Lord. Have you said that prayer today? Shouldn’t you?
The well-known Roman philosopher Cicero even captured the essence of stewardship when he wrote, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”