Give Until It Hurts


Women on her knees lifting her hands to the sky

One of the characteristics of Everyday Stewardship is to be committed — to persevere daily in a way of life acknowledging that everything belongs to God.

I know, I know. Easier said than done.

Just ask Zebedee. It’s quite an image we get from the Gospel, after all. “So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.”

There was Zebedee, about his business, mending nets with his two sons, who were undoubtedly his best workers — they had to have been more dedicated than the hired men, who worked for wages rather than for family. And in an instant off they go, following this strange man.

I don’t know about you, but if my kids left me on a hot summer day to finish the lawn by myself, I wouldn’t be too happy.

But Zebedee must have been someone quite special. Perhaps he realized that his sons didn’t belong to him — not really. They belonged to God, and from the beginning of time, it had been appointed that they would be among the first disciples of Christ. He passed, he called, they followed, and Zebedee obliged. He simply went back to mending his nets, I imagine.

Zebedee already understood what St. Teresa of Calcutta would say millennia later: “Give until it hurts.”

“You’re wasting my time.” “I’ve done so much for her; she owes me this.” How often do we think things, and even people and relationships, belong to us? The truth is none of them do. We must be ready, as Zebedee was, to surrender them to God when He comes walking past.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS


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