A priest told this story once to illustrate how important it is to identify what you truly value and then pursue it. He was a teenager, he said, and he and his cousin were playing basketball in his cousin’s driveway. Suddenly, the cousin realized he had lost a contact lens. This was before the era of disposable contact lens. Back in those days, you bought one pair of hard contact lens and kept them until the next time you had an eye exam. They were costly, and people often found themselves on all fours searching for a missing contact. So it was with the future priest and his cousin. They scoured the driveway and even looked in the surrounding grass. Alas, no contact lens was found, so they went inside to have a soda. In the house, they told the cousin’s dad what had happened. He immediately went outside and started to search. “It seemed that he was out there forever,” said the priest. “He looked and looked and looked. And amazingly, he found that contact lens. Why did he find the missing lens and we didn’t? Because my cousin and I were looking for a contact, but my uncle was looking for a hundred dollars.”
To the priest, this humorous memory held a deeper truth: when we know the value of something, and desire it enough, we will be relentless in our search for it. For Christian stewards, the search for God in our lives can never be a half-hearted, tepid response. It must be all or nothing. The search is a lifelong commitment. Thomas Merton offered a basic principle of stewardship: “A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all.” What is the stewardship question for me? Am I ready and willing to commit to the long search for God in my life?