I think part of our act of stewardship is committing to our piece of the vision. Commitment has two parts. The first is starting. Going out on a limb, taking risks, and actually taking the first steps to “doing” it is the first part of commitment.
The second part is persevering. Once we begin (which, in reality, once we have committed to the Lord our lives, we, in turn, commit ourselves to the things He has called us to be a part of), we must persevere and see it through no matter how hard, tough, or difficult it may get. Look at Paul. That dude was totally committed and he radically persevered.
“Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (2 Corinthians 11:25-27)
This guy was legit. His commitment and perseverance reaped an unknown, immense harvest. Through his commitment and perseverance he wrote the most books in the New Testament. Through his commitment and perseverance he was no doubt rewarded by the Lord and was able, at the end of his life, to boldly write, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to be able to say that on my deathbed. I want that written on my gravestone. It’s worth it. The Lord is worth it. Committing and persevering is part of stewarding the visions that the Lord has given us. For us to stay true to what we have been called to will, in turn, allow the Lord to be able to fulfill that over-arching vision.
I think another part of stewarding our vision is to do it to the best of our ability: Excellence. I would say, in Paul’s case, he stewarded his vision by fulfilling his piece––his angle of completion––to the best of his ability. Say his angle was preaching. My angle would be community and relationships.
If we don’t practice, prepare, engage, or involve ourselves, then we aren’t putting our best foot forward. The same applies to anyone who wants to “make it big” in say, entertainment. They practice their butts off. They get teachers, they study the material, they prepare and prepare, they try new things, and did I mention they practice?
Mike, I would say, is a huge advocate for this idea. I remember when, back in high school, I played drums on the worship team with him. He would admonish not only me but each individual musician on the team to practice and put time and effort into their instrument or voice. We’ve got to invest in our gifts and visions to be able to walk them out effectively and with excellence.
Part 3 on Friday.