For teens and their families nearest them, stewardship is primarily about allowance, first job in-come, driving the family car, and maybe buying their own clothes or technology. From my limited seat, I have observed another piece of stewardship that begins to be in play for teens and the habits developed then often have long-lasting impact.
I have been a judge at the senior exhibition projects at the high school for many years now and every single year, I hear the same thing, no matter what the project was about or if the project was done as a team or singularly. Time management. Every year seniors ruefully lament that procrastination had a negative impact on their project, communication and sometimes even their final grades.
You don’t often hear of stewardship and time management in the same sentence, but I believe they are intertwined, and for teens, this is often when they are given time to spend as they please. They also are given multiple assignments from teachers, coaches, mentors, parents and even friends. How are they to manage all those tasks (and sleep) in the limited hours we all get each day? Just this past week, I listened to a parent vent some frustration over how to manage her teen’s social, spiritual, academic, sports and family life. These frustrations are not just a teen-focused phenome-non, yes? All of us wrestle with how to fill our time, meet our expectations and not resent the busy-ness.
For teens, I often am asking the question of ‘why’. ‘Why are you considering that sport?’ ‘Why do you feel like you have to go on this weekend event?’ ‘Why is this relationship so important to you?’ Usually teens have good answers, but just the habit of asking ‘why’ can often help us filter out when there is a conflict of time use, what is good and what is the best.
The habits of good stewardship are not necessarily difficult, except that our cultural values often push against lifestyle that is seeking balance and healthy decision-making. As we consider stewardship in all the key areas of our lives, it is usually encouragement that helps us make new or better choices, yes?
May we cheer one another on in good stewardship and offer encouragement to teens and those around us who are learning to build habits of good financial, social, eating, and yes, even time management.