Saturday, February 21, 2009

just manage the property

The Master said, "Let me ask you: Who is the dependable manager, full of common sense, that the master puts in charge of his staff to feed them well and on time? He is a blessed man if when the master shows up he's doing his job. But if he says to himself, 'The master is certainly taking his time,' begins maltreating the servants and maids, throws parties for his friends, and gets drunk, the master will walk in when he least expects it, give him the thrashing of his life, and put him back in the kitchen peeling potatoes. -- Luke 12:42-46 The Message

My new job -- and yes! I have one! -- is the administrative assistant to the Property Manager of a high rise condo complex in Verona.  It is not my dream job, but I have come to a peace that I need to be grateful for a job, and I am trusting that God is in this and plans to allow me to minister there.  But in a big way, I expect He is teaching me something important.

The book I just finished reading was Saturdays with Stella, and in a chapter entitled "Yours, Mine, and... Well, Mine - Leave It," Allison is teaching her dog, Stella, the command "leave it." The God-related concept is that everything belongs to God-- everything!  We need to trust Him in what He gives and in what He withholds from us.

Allison writes, "I'm not teaching Stella to 'leave it' simply to delay inevitable gratification. The key to the behavior is to break the fixation.  No dog ever truely obeys this command until she completely walks away from whatever was being denied... I want Stella to know that no distraction is worth disobedience.... I don't want her to feel pampered; I want her to feel safe.  She doesn't need to be indulged; she needs to be loved.  I don't meet her demands; I anticipate her needs."

In this position I have now, there is no question about my ownership.  I am the assistant to the property manager, and even she is not the owner.  The people who own the condos, they are the owners.  We simply carry out their plans.  We are managers.  We are stewards.

God is showing me that nothing that I think I "own" is, in fact, mine.  It's all His.  My house, my beach cottage, my car, my new job, the clothes in my closet, the food in my refrigerator, even my children and my husband--all are His that He has given freely.  All are His to take away.  He doesn't give because I am good and take away because I am bad or He is mean.  He is concerned about my being safe, being loved, caring for my true needs.

Father, help me see the difference between being a dependable manager and trying to be "master of the universe." Heal me of this sin.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praise. -- Job 1:21

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