Minute for Stewardship, Greg Zillges

October 17, 2010

A few Sundays ago I was enjoying a diet hot fudge sundae in the downstairs when the good reverend sneaks up on me, and told me he had an opportunity for me.  And just what that might be I ask.  He said he would like me to talk about the pledge card and what it means to me.  I told him I don’t think I am your man for that job because I find it to be a very stressful and emotional time for me.  He said, “Good, I’ll see you in the 17th.”  Thanks rev.How stressful is it?  I am glad you asked.  Country singer Alan Jackson said it best in his song, “Love’s got a hold on you.” He said, “My hands are sweaty and my knees are weak, I can’t eat, and I can’t sleep.”  Ernest Tubb said, “I’m walkin’ the floor over you.”  I know the feeling.  Willie Nelson said, “Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain.”  Go Willie!  Elvis said, “I’m all shook up!” and “You gave me a mountain.”  I’ll bet he filled out a couple of those pledge cards.  Then there is the phone call if it’s not turned in, you know some nice person takes their Saturday to call up and say, “Hi, how are you?  Have you thought about the pledge card?”  I know they would like to say, “Listen, where’s the card?  Do you want me to send Vinny, you know, skinny tie, crooked nose Vinny, from the church collection department for you?” And then to top it off there’s the Sunday to turn the card in, I get to come up to the front with everyone else and put it in the basket.Why all the fuss?  Because I can’t ever find the answer to the question that haunts me, that is “what dollar amount does it take to get the job done?”  Why can’t someone just tell me an amount?  It doesn’t work that way.  Why can’t it work like a speeding ticket?  The more ya play,the more ya pay? I know it costs a lot to run this place so take that amount and divide it up with the number of members and send me a bill.  How am I going to answer my question?As I think about that, I hear the words my mother said once, “I believe we were put on this earth for two reasons: One is to have a relationship with God and the other is to take care of each other.  So if my pledge allows me to hold the cup of the new covenant while someone is able to feed their soul, then it’s good.  If my contribution, no matter how big or small allows me to carry something in the coffee hour, open a door, help someone up or down the stairs who is unable to, then I’m OK.  If my contribution no matter how big or small can give someone a meal today somewhere in the world who didn’t have one yesterday then it’s OK.  And if my pledge no matter how big or small can give someone hope where there was none, then that would be huge.  I believe we can do more collectively than we can do individually.  So every team has its stars and somebody has to be the waterboy.  So I guess the answer to my question would be, it doesn’t matter the amount, it wouldn’t be enough to take care of it all, so I’ll just keep chipping away at it.  If someone doesn’t think the amount is enough, I’ll let God be the judge.  And the reverend told me in a sermon once that “from my judge shall come my salvation.”  So when the time comes to put my pledge card in the basket up fornt, I’ll do so and walk away with me head held high, because the way I see it, between my mother and the good reverend I’m good to go.  Thank you.