And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. – Luke 19:13
Recently, I attended the funeral services of the late Karl Paul Nay Russell Spencer, a dedicated, celebrated public servant, and the crowd, tributes and sermon gave credence to this. On my way to the cemetery at Ebenezer, I thought I would travel east to avoid the traffic jam, so I drove through one of the northern streets that would wind me to the Eastern Road. What really caught my attention, and may I say not out of the ordinary, was a lady in a bent position attending to her garden just beyond her open gate. She seemed to be a lady of leisure and retired. Then our text for today came to me, “Occupy till I come” and the more I drove, the more it came, so-much-so, I began a little ditty, calypso-style.
One song of yesterday asked a lover – “What am I living for if not for you?” And as I race through time, the corner jukebox always told the neighborhood that there was someone having love problems. But, are we really aware that our living is based on how we manage our earthly sojourn until? Growing up, there were two distinct job descriptions – the Project or Contract; and living on premises. Laborers were needed to harvest fruits and vegetables in Florida and beyond, and so Bahamians, mainly men, were contracted to do the job, not to take the farm but work the farm; then couples were needed here in the city to live in homes to do housework; gardeners and nannies. But it came with restriction, you were not the owner but allowed to have free movement and access to everything, or should I say you were at large and in charge … until.
It is the period of Lent. Are we truly mindful that just as Jesus came to earth with a purpose and on a mission, we are here on Planet Earth to be the best, do the best, love the best, give the best and leave the best? Yes, the best, not of materials things and holdings but kind deeds, words and actions.
How sad it is to see many of our people, especially young men and women, wandering aimlessly day in and day out, without a clue as to why they are here in this beautiful world. They are also young mothers and fathers without a plan for their lives nor the lives of their young ones.
To occupy is to be in control. At one time there was a slogan “Jesus is in control”, but I don’t see them on bumper stickers or elsewhere anymore. Look at the state of our nation – who is in control? Who are the chief occupants? Social media, newspapers, reporters will tell the story. Murders, armed robberies, rapes, hijacking, home invasion, theft, blue collar crimes, aiding and abetting, dishonest stewardship – disobedience heavy with rudeness.
Tell me where are the occupants of yesterday when kindness, gentleness and goodness kept us as one?
Our purpose here on earth is to be in control until we are called to leave. Are you keeping the premises of your lives in good and solid condition, so when He comes, there will be no regret but words of commendation for your stellar stewardship?
Yes, it is Lent, Father God, and we will surrender all, not for this time alone, but for the rest of our lives.