This is the second of a four-part series to build you up in your quest for stewardship of all God’s resources.
One of the most important aspects of being a good kitchen steward (see “Mission” for what Kitchen Stewardship entails) is avoiding being overwhelmed. Often folks see a huge goal and either procrastinate on it because it’s so daunting or give up entirely because it seems impossible. Admit to yourself and accept the fact that you CAN’T do it all, at least not all at once, especially on a budget. You may never get to do everything you want to. But do what you CAN.
Acknowledging the Progress
God asks us to offer our lives to Him. He’ll take that life and change it entirely. You are called to change your life 100%. But does God expect you to do it all at once and be perfect every day? Absolutely not. Humans are imperfect and sinful people, and we can’t give up on being a Christian because we make a mistake and sin. We can’t give up on seeking to be good stewards in our kitchens just because it seems difficult and we can’t do it all at once. Do a little better today than you did yesterday. Eat something more nutritious this Friday than you did last Friday.
If you’re tempted to eat five cookies and you keep it to one, you have gained merit – and a few calories, to be sure, but do rejoice in the self-control you exercised. It’s all about progress. If you’re tempted to eat one cookie, and you do it, there’s no progress there. Eat a handful of nuts instead, and you’re getting somewhere.
When a Baby Step Doesn’t Cut It
The only big problem in baby steps is if the cookie will kill you. For example: you have anaphalactic allergic reactions to peanuts and are tempted to eat five Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups, and you only eat one. After the mortal peril, expense of the ambulance ride and the lifetime increased sensitivity to said peanut, the self-control to eat “just one” was NOT worth it. Some decisions we make in the kitchen are “evil peanut” decisions. But not too many. It’s up to you, unfortunately, to decide what will be deadly to your family. Clearly you won’t be serving bleach at a dinner party; I would say you ought not use it on your toilets, either. But we all must run our own risk analysis. (Read more about peanuts and my theory on being thoughtful in the kitchen here.)
What Does God Think?
It is my fervent hope that Monday Missions here at Kitchen Stewardship give you a chance to tackle one issue each week and make a manageable change, without stress or Tylenol. Can little efforts make a difference? I believe they do. Ever heard of the parable of the mustard seed? Or the story of the starfish – saving them one at a time? I truly believe God honors our effort, no matter how small, if done in great faith and with the best of intention. Even if we can’t save our family from every evil in this life, let us make a faithful effort and obtain treasure without measure in the world beyond.
Your challenge for today? Accept the progress of a baby step – no, rejoice in taking a baby step, knowing that you can take another tomorrow!
The next Mary and Martha Moment in this series will remind us what is important: this life or the one beyond?
See more “Finer Things” here.