by Ryan Miller
My journey started about the time I was the age of the children here (taking First Communion). I had a poster on my wall of a man running near a field of wheat that said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” And that always stuck with me. The meaning was not always super clear, but one thing was: that God gives, and God has an expectation of me.
As my understanding of the Bible grew and my faith deepened, I learned that God works on miracles through his people, and that God generously blesses each of us very uniquely. We can not only live an abundant life, but we can uniquely meet the needs of others. But over time, I’m just a teenager, I’m just a college student, I’m just an engineer. I don’t know the Bible very well. I don’t have extra money. I have three kids, a job, a wife. I don’t have much time. I travel for work…Those were all excuses I used all the time. Some of them sound familiar, I’m sure.
But I do have uniqueness, and as I started to really trust God to use my uniqueness — after all, he’s the one that made me who I am — I became more comfortable with taking action. I needed to trust God as a verb, not a noun. I had to take actionto believe and to really trust my faith. And I found that when I trusted as a verb, generosity fl owed from that. My experience has been that as I continued to trust God even more and turn more over to him, I was more and more blessed so that I could bless others, creating a deepening cycle of growth in my faith and generosity.
And so, when it comes time for your own personal conversations with Christ this harvest season, I would encourage you to remember my favorite verse, which is from Mark: “And Jesus told them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just believe.’” For me, it’s don’t be afraid, just trust.
Each fall, our church focuses part of its time on stewardship. We ask every parishioner to make a pledge – an estimate of your next year’s giving to St. John the Divine. You can pledge online now.