Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Work Space: 2

Walking Stick

One of the best books I've read on work is John Beckett's Loving Monday.

In a chapter on stewardship, he reminds me, "Each of us has been given some measure of stewardship responsibility. Often it's so obvious we can't even see it." (p.126)

Then Beckett goes on to share an incident concerning Moses, when God asks him, "What is that in your hand?" Beckett says that Moses saw a plain old stick... one he had held through the desert to steady his steps. But "in God's eyes, it was something altogether different." This was the very stick that God chose to work through, to turn into a serpent before Pharoah.

So, ultimately, the question is, how do I use what is in my hand to nurture, challenge, speak out, and provide for others?

To answer this question, I guess I first have to look at what's in my hand.

Walking Stick photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

As you recall from yesterday, TheHighCalling.org is going on blog tour this week, to bring you special ideas regarding the work space. If the issues of stewardship and gifting interest you, try these tour options on for size...

Membership... become a member of TheHighCalling.org Becoming a member allows you to track issues of interest, like stewardship or gifting, right on the HC site.

Future benefits will offer inclusion in a social networking group on their site (where your blog may be specifically highlighted from time to time).

Audio Encouragment... Ticket to Joyride

Reflection and Prayer... Eugene Peterson, "One Heart and Soul"

Other tour rest stops...

Green Inventions Central
Gordon Atkinson
Gina Conroy
Craver VII
Milton Brasher-Cunningham
Mary DeMuth
Karl Edwards
Every Square Inch
Amy Goodyear
Marcus Goodyear
Al Hsu
Chalres Foster Johnson
Mike McLoughlin
Eve Nielsen
Naked Pastor
Ramblin Dan
Charity Singleton
Camy Tang

Enjoy day two of the journey!

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Blogger Lifelong Learner said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. It is a nice way to come in contact with like-minded folks.

I liked your thoughts on stewardship. Don't you think there has to be an element of contentedness with what we have in order to be able to see how we can use what we have to help others? It seems everyone I've ever known that was a good steward and giver was also content and not consumed with consumables. Stewardship is so important to our spiritual growth! I hope you write more about it. I'll be waiting to read about it.

Blessings! Enjoy the tour.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Halfmom said...

What's in my hand? That's a good question - and not one I've thought of before. I think I generally think of it in terms of "what's in my heart"

10:13 AM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

I like the idea that we are called to steward the things that are already in our hands.

Which makes me wonder why I'm always trying to grab something bigger, something grander. God, teach me to be content.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Ramblin Dan said...

Loving Monday is a great book. What struck me most is the concern Beckett has for the people of his company.

Thanks for the review of TheHighCalling.org

4:13 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Hmm...I like your thoughts on stewardship. I think maybe my problem sometimes is I'm too busy looking to get what I don't have, thinking that will enable me to do my work instead making the best of what I do have.

I had an interesting experience related to this when I began making cards. I started off with very limited supplies and a lot of energy. I made fun stuff. But as I've acquired more supplies, I see my creativity dwindling. I'm too stuck on figuring out which cool tool to use. I'm learning that often having less fosters more creativity than having much.

So what do I have in my hand today...

4:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

LL, you have a forsythia bush in your hand-I recognize it :)

5:20 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Stacy... ah, yes, contentment. I wonder if the contentment always comes before the "using" or vice versa?

Halfmom... oohh... interesting distinction. I imagine the two may be different?

Mark... sometimes I wonder what would truly be "bigger and better"... or do our standards for such keep changing?

Ramblin... absolutely! It surely contradicts that image of the selfish CEO.

A Musing... I can relate in my writing. I used to think I needed great chunks of time to accomplish anything. As it turns out, that simply isn't true. (And I do a lot of composing in strange moments... walking from here to there, gardening, cleaning up)

Eve... good eye for the forsythia... yet I am holding something else... a walking stick we got from the woods. I'm so glad this came up, for don't we sometimes mistake what we "possess" for something else, and miss the chance to use it as it could be?

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am often too eager to drop what is in my hand to grab onto the next great thing. When what is in my hand is a great gift from the Lord in itself. Love this metaphor, LL.

Also, love the "Rest Stop" idea!

9:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

LL, tricky!

10:33 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

I love the idea of looking at what we already have in our hands. Like Mark, I think I often look for what I imagine is greater & grander than what I already have.

In my own hands, what I possess may be quite ordinary. But God can do anything with that ...

11:13 PM  
Blogger Charlie Johnson said...


Your insightful thoughts about Moses and stewardship remind me of that curious, cryptic admonition of Scripture to "strengthen the things that remain."

Perhaps the place right before us is a better venue for God than some distant world beyond.

Thanks for your postings, which are a delight to read.


9:13 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Charity... And I marvel that these things in our hands are often so simple... but, in the hands of God, they can be made powerful

Eve... oops, sorry, not trying to be tricky (at least not this time :)

Kirsten... oh, I see I just expressed your sentiments in my comment to Charity above. Guess I was a secret admirer of your thoughts (secret even to me!)

Charlie... I like that cryptic message. Do you know where it comes from? Thanks for your encouragement, too.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

My standards never change, L.L. I want to change the world! (And when I am feeling my most blasphemous, I want to save it.)

I suppose the best thing for me to keep in hand is a healthy perspective of my own abilities.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L, I think of this as using what God has given me and trying to find his way in adverse circumstances, rather than wishing for something better (which I used to do much more of).

God is at work now and I need to be awake to that as I seek to work with him.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. The stick and that story in Scripture does make one think. Here I am at a factory job. But as I just said, I try to make the most of it and everything else. Wanting to be faithful in these "least" places.

7:58 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Mark... I wonder if it is blasphemous to want to save the world, or if this is just evidence that you have a heart touched by the Father's cares?

Ted... I wonder if you feel there is something else you should be doing, or if others have made you feel that way? I can see you being a very encouraging person, there in your factory setting.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., I do pastor. That's who I really am as far as gifting goes. I've believed that for some time and still do. I didn't overcome some things that held me back over the years. But both teaching and preaching have been well received. And I enjoy listening and trying to help people.

But I don't believe completely in the way church is done nowdays. We need to function more as a body and less dependent on people we're paying to pastor. I'm not saying that we should throw out paid pastors. Though I'd almost rather err on the side of the interactivity of the entire Body and away from the traditional practice of overmuch dependence on one person.

I also love to read and write and could have been a teacher. I would have much preferred either of those options to what I'm doing.

I guess in the factory setting I can be an encouragement in Christ and I hope I am. I'd give them my two weeks notice if I could do any number of other things. But it's a good ministry to work with and for, even in the mundaneness of what I do. I'd love to get an editing job with them, but they have great help there.

It's all discouraging to me if I let it be. But my wife and I have a homegroup, which actually I lead. So that's a good outlet for me as to my pastoral gifting. And I do a service regularly along with visiting at a nursing home.

Thanks for asking.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

The things I didn't overcome were psychological in nature, feeling I don't measure up, that something is wrong, that I'm no good....

4:14 PM  

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