The Weight (and Joy) of Responsibility
Lately I’ve been thinking about bags of gold. Not because I have real ones or because I’m dreaming of getting rich or because I fear the end of the world and the complete devaluation of currency–no, it’s because of a parable of Jesus. The one where he talks about the master who leaves for a long time, but before he does he gives his servants some of his money to invest however they see fit. Two of the servants do a bang-up job and the master praises them when he returns. The third just hides the money and gives it back to the master. The master isn’t so excited about that approach.
The point of the parable is that God entrusts us with things and wants us to be good stewards of them. There is a weight to responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required. I feel I’ve been given much in many ways, but recently I’ve been especially confronted with two, both having to do with kids.
The first is my own kids. I am the father and one of the primary influencers of two actual human beings. I do not control them, but I believe I will be held accountable for how well I love, encourage, support, empower, and at times correct them. I want them to know me as someone who is on their side, not by their side nagging. I want them to see that I am passionate about Jesus, their mom, them, and each moment of life I’m given. I could focus on the ways I fail, and I certainly think about those, but I’m more challenged to take hold of my responsibility by living a life of love, joy, and hope in front of them on a daily basis. You can’t fake that.
The second place I’ve been feeling the weight of responsibility is at our church. One of the great parts of Trailhead is that over half of our church is under the age of 18. There are a lot of kids running around! As a pastor I feel the weight of responsibility for helping those kids experience the love of Jesus, discover how to follow him, and to empower them as full participants in the community of faith. It is a joy to work at this alongside a bunch of talented, godly adults. It is something I so desperately want to do well. There is so much on the line.
I wouldn’t give up either of these responsibilities. There is weight to them but there is also so much joy. I love the purpose and challenge that come from each of them. Both of these responsibilities push me to continue growing as a person and follower of Jesus and to think creatively about how to steward these gifts well.
God has given us all responsibilities. These are gifts and opportunities. Like the first two servants in Jesus’ parable, I hope we meet them with intention, creativity, and joy on a daily basis.