Stewardship of Life

A New Year…

Posted in Just Living by Sharron R. Lucas on January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Most people make New Year’s resolutions like “lose weight,” “reduce debt,” finish the great American novel,” and so forth. This year I’m going to try something a little different, and you’re invited along for the read. Welcome to JUST LIVING: One Woman’s One-Year Resolution to Live Life Justly.

First, here’s a little bit of history.  I’m an ELCA Lutheran pastor serving a four-point parish in rural eastern North Dakota, and a single parent of two daughters, age 22 and 16. Writing is my passion, and I enjoy music, art, film, theatre, and a good read. I’m a cancer survivor of five years. Before seminary I was an English teacher and dorm parent at a private day-boarding school. I’ve worked in public relations, non-profit management, and university advancement.

At various times in my adult life I have known abundance, and I have wondered how to buy tomorrow’s groceries. I have lived the American dream and found it wanting. It’s taken me a long time and some hard knocks, but I’m learning that people are infinitely more important than things, that experiences matter more than possessions, that God is good, and that simple pleasures and the present moment are the incredible gifts. I still have a lot to learn, but then we all do, I guess.

In recent years, I’ve been trying to be more conscious of how I live and how I purchase and consume goods and services. Two years ago I joined The Compact, and ever since then I have tried to purchase used or repurposed whenever possible and to be more aware of my consumption in general. I recycle, even though it means hauling the items to be recycled 25 miles to another town once a month.  I compost. I try to eat locally as much as I can, and to support locally-owned businesses.  I’m still trying to develop a green thumb. These attempts have been a hodgepodge of successes and failures; the important thing is that they have been honest attempts, and they have been life changing in the way I look at possessions, purchasing, consuming, and sharing.

This year I believe it’s time to take the effort to another level. Instead of just trying to be a better steward of resources, time, and possessions, I want to examine the entire process of living this kind of life. What does it mean to be a good steward of God’s many and good gifts to us? What does it mean to love our neighbor, and how does that translate into responsible and ethical practices of consumption?  And who is our neighbor anyway? What does it really mean to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God”? These are the kinds of questions I’ll be asking myself (and you as readers). I’m sure there will be a whole lot more questions than answers, and that I’ll be a prime example of the Japanese proverb “Fall down seven, get up eight.”

I hope you’ll join me on the journey to whatever degree suits you. Please feel free to comment, offer suggestions, or even tell me you think I’m just plain nuts. If we all learn a little something, then this crazy (according to my daughters) experiment will have been worth it.

Peace and blessing.


10 Responses to 'A New Year…'

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  1. I’m with you, lady. You’re an inspiration, and I hope to follow, if not just your words, then perhaps your stes as well. Rock on. xx

    • Thanks, Julia, for stopping by. I hope you’ll be along for the journey this year. You continue to inspire me with the amazing and creative things that you and your family are doing. Keep up the great work.

  2. cousin bev kendall said,

    My dear Sharron Ann, I think you are in for an incredible year. I have scratched my head on that verse about the three things that God requires of us – justice, kindness and walking in humbleness with God. Justice seems to be a hard word to adequately define. It’s dimensions are certainly not confined to a courtroom. I too am trying to be more conscious with my stuff and my spending habits. I’ve been recyclying now for about a year. Rumpke picks it up every Tuesday morning bright and early. Wow, what a statement you are making by driving 25 miles to recycle. I know God will bless you in ways you can’t imagine this year as you try to find what is true in this world – as you seek to find what is truly valuable – as you boldy let the mind of Christ be in you – as you seize opportunities to show others how much they are loved by God – as you make a statement for God unashamedly. Your girls are really proud of you, even if they don’t say so. And, so am I.

    • Thanks, Bev. I appreciate the vote of support and hope that you’ll check in frequently this year.

  3. Bill Agee said,

    Thanks to you for the many articles you have provided for SOLI and now a BLOG!!! WOW

    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks Bill! It’s exciting to venture into new areas.

      Rlessings, Rob

  4. Virgil Gibson said,

    Greetings in the Neww Year. Stewardship has been a topic of interest for a long time, usually expressed through participation in congregational leadership. These two blogs will surely help focus the personal to the global. thank you for the offering! virg

    • Virgil.
      Thanks and welcome! We look forward to having you along for the journey this year. Feel free to join the conversation and share your experiences.
      Peace and blessing.

  5. Robert Kieffer Leaverton said,

    I am looking forward to journeying with you through this blog. As always, this is excellent writing and I really enjoy reading it and hearing what you have to say and convey to us.

    Will these be weekly posts, random posts, or posts on some other time interval. If you have some sort of list serve, put me on it.

    All the best to you and your ministry.

    • Hi, Robert.
      Thanks for joining us on this new adventure. Posts will be at least weekly but very likely more frequently. We do plan to have a list serve, and when that is functional we’ll notify you. Please feel free to join the conversation and share your thoughts and experiences! Blessings on your ministry.

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