Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 21: March 5

Tuesday, March 5, 2013: Accountability 

Luke 13:6-9 Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, “See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?” He replied, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.”’ 

In my work as a field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, I am committed to being a good steward of the resources and gifts that we receive. It was important for me to understand the process of accountability for our gifts and how they are put to use. 

One of the amazing things about working through the United Methodist Church is that 100% of the dollars that we raise go to the work of eradicating malaria. We distribute funds not by showing up with a shipment of nets, but by asking communities what they need and inviting them to write grants for the work they need accomplished. All along the way, we are building relationships of accountability. If funds are being misused or if a particular program is not bearing fruit, we can say no and direct funds and energy to the places where it will be used effectively. 

All of that information about transparency in the funding process got me to thinking about my own financial and spiritual health. What about my pocketbook? Who is holding me accountable? God has given me so much in this life. I am like the fig tree planted in good and healthy soil. But have I been bearing fruit? Have I been sharing my gifts with others? Have I fulfilled my purpose? 

During this season of Lent, take some time to examine your spiritual health. Are you growing? Or are you wasting the soil you were planted in? Our efforts to “give something up” or “take something on” during Lent are like heaps of manure – filled with good, fresh nutrients – that can revitalize our spirituality and spark growth. 

By participating in Imagine No Malaria, you have the chance to help bear fruit for the life-saving work of God. 

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for another day to serve you. Help it to be a fruitful one. If there are places in my life where pruning is needed, help me to accept them. Show me the places where I can grow in my faith and serve you in even bigger ways. Thank you for the sun and the rain and the earth that nurture me, the friends and colleagues who support me, the life of grace that sustains me. May these things not go to waste. Amen. 

Rev. Katie Dawson, Field Coordinator, Iowa Annual Conference 

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