Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A Trustworthy Steward
“This is how one should regard us… as stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”
—1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (ESV)
There is a park near our house where I take the dog for his walk and let him run free. The minute he feels that subtle “click” freeing him from the leash, he goes nuts. He runs like a drunk, weaving in and out following invisible tracks, sniffing as he goes. Sometimes he doubles back, retracing his steps to get a closer smell of something; other times he pauses thoughtfully, head cocked sideways as if asking himself a question. I watch all this random haphazard intensity and I think, Stupid dog.
But with even the tiniest dusting of snow on the ground, something miraculous happens. What looks like random wandering suddenly makes sense, as there in the snow I can see the evidence of what draws his interest. There are the footprints of a person and beside it, prints of a smaller dog. There is the slightest brush of a bird’s wing and tiny v’s where birds stood. There are the tracks of a rabbit. There is the place another dog rolled in the snow. He follows those tracings religiously from one to another, following the path however winding it goes. And all at once, my dog goes from being a joy-filled idiot to being a wise and prudent tracker. I trust him now.
Maybe one day God will sprinkle the earth with something like snow so all the invisible mysteries of God will be made plain. In that day we’ll understand why the track doubled back, why we had to pause in that place, what the purpose was of following an inexplicable winding path. Until then we’ll have to trust that those who are stewards of the mysteries of God have got a whiff of something holy when we see them running in circles. And we’ll have to have imagination enough to chase along with them, with or without the snow to make it plain.