We are coming to an end of our Season of Stewardship. We’ve talked about Stewardship in a comprehensive way over this past month. Yes, of course, stewardship is partly about financial resources, but it is also about how we use our time and our talents to make the Kingdom of God a reality right here on Earth. As we come to the end of this current season of stewardship, I remembered this piece written by, of all people, George Carlin—a brilliant comedian known more for his sarcastic treatment of “bad words”. But here he captures a very important perspective on stewardship:
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense, more knowledge, but less wisdom, more experts, yet also more problems. We have more medicine, but less wellness.”
“We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get too tired, read too little, watch T.V. too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.”
“We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, but not life to years. We’ve been to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We have conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.”
I never considered George Carlin to be a prophet, but his words are prophetic. Being a good steward of this one life God has given to us is to pay attention to the things Carling mentioned—and many more besides. Being a good steward of life is to see what ought to be seen and hear what ought to be heard. Carlin closed this piece with these words: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. I don’t know about you, but THAT is what good stewardship looks like to me.