Here I sit, some 27 hours after my last blog post, and I’m terrified. I think I feel something akin to what Andrew Luck will feel just before the first snap of the Colts first game next season. How do I follow up on what just happened? At noon yesterday, this blog had received somewhere in the neighborhood of 14,850 views since I moved over from blogger 13 months ago. Yesterday, I posted a blog entitled, “Why I’m Grieving Election Day,” and thanks to the power of social media, this happened:
16,700 views since 1pm yesterday! I’m shocked. I’m humbled. I’m thrilled. And based on the comment thread, I’m both excited and nervous, all at the same time. But as I sit here, ready to write my usual Thursday post, I’m stuck wondering, “how do I follow up on that amazing thing that happened?” The truth of the matter is, I can’t. What I wrote yesterday was timely, and clearly it struck a chord, both positively and negatively with folks. It was shared and shared and shared again, and while I’ve gained a few dozen new followers, come Monday, my stats will be back to 40-50 readers a day, and life will be back to normal. So today, I’m not going to write something amazing, I couldn’t if I tried, instead, I’ll thank the 16,000 people who visited this site, and get back to my self-assigned task of writing a blog about the Bible.
The story of Elijah and Widow of Zarephath is The Best Stewardship Story ever Written. It is a deceptively simple story of God’s abundance to those who are faithful. Elijah is instructed to find a widow in Zarephath who will feed him, and so, when he finds said widow, he won’t let her shirk her God-given responsibility. Her “but I don’t have enough” is turned into, “in God, there is enough.” What I appreciate most about this story is that the jar of meal and jug of oil aren’t miraculously filled to overflowing when she gives Elijah his cake. Instead, the level seems to remain the same. She has enough, just enough, for today. To borrow a well-worn phrase, she has her daily bread.
As stewardship season begins to wind down in many Episcopal parishes, this lesson is an important one to remember. More important is to remember that this is God’s pattern for faithful stewardship. The wandering Hebrews were given enough manna only for the day. The widow’s jar has enough, just for the day. Jesus taught us to pray for enough for today. He sent out the 70, with enough for a day’s journey. God doesn’t desire our stuff, he desires our trust. In accepting the gift of enough for today, we learn to trust him continually. Sometimes, of course, God fills us up with abundance (cf. the first two paragraphs above), but by and large our faithfulness is rewarded by enough for the day, and for the faithful witness of the widow of Zarephath, I give God thanks and praise.