ODJ: stewards unaware

February 23, 2016 

READ: Genesis 1:1,20-28 

Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind (v.20).

Recently I met the captain of one of the boats featured on Channel’s reality television show. The show Wicked Tuna, National Geographic Channel’s reality television show. The show follows the lives of bluefin tuna fishermen living in the US. Bluefin tuna are some of the largest marine creatures. They can grow to 10 feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Sadly, illegal practices and over-fishing have seriously threatened their population.

The captain told me of some steps taken worldwide to protect and sustain the tuna population. He said one country even paid its commercial fleet to stop fishing for 3 years so tuna numbers could increase. When I responded with, “That’s a fantastic act of stewardship,” he asked, “Are you religious?” To him, stewardship was a religious word.

Circumstances allowed only a brief explanation, but I told the captain that I believe in a Creator-God who made the heavens and earth (Genesis 1:1). I told him that the same Maker created human beings, and that we’re to steward—to take care of—the earth and see it flourish just as He created it to flourish (vv.20, 27-28). I explained that even if people don’t realize it, they perform acts of stewardship because that’s part of what God created us to do.

The captain paused, and then admitted that seeing the intricate design of the bluefin tuna sometimes makes him want to be “religious.” I responded, “I’m going to pray that you will find the Creator of the bluefin tuna.”

You never know what meaningful conversations may open up when you recognize and affirm the efforts of others who unknowingly reflect what God created us to do. May He help us to be good stewards of His creation and the conversations we have with others.

—Jeff Olson

365-day-plan: Deuteronomy 29:1-29

Read Romans 8:19-21 and consider what God will do one day to restore the natural world to its intended beauty and glory. 
With whom can you have a meaningful conversation today about why you believe in the Creator-God? How can you be a better steward of what He has given you?