Shalom is not an easy word to define if you depend on the English language for clarification. I think the closest anyone has come is by using the phrase, "God's peace." A recent sermon on Jehovah Shalom (“the Lord is peace”) from the Old Testament prompted my "wonderings" about stewarding shalom.
Shalom is given from God; it is His gift to us along with grace. A sense of shalom is captured in the beauty of creation, when all seems "right in the world," when reconciliation and renewal are evident. Still, even with our glimpses of shalom, it is so much more than we can see. It is spiritual, emotional and physical in its manifestation. I've written here previously about oikonomia, the concept of managing God's abundance to us. Perhaps the essence of oikonomia includes stewarding shalom.
Stewarding shalom means participating in activities that bring peace, reconciliation, insight, deeper understanding and complete acceptance. Stewarding shalom is wise use of time and energy; taking in the surroundings, noticing the details, surrendering the pressure, listening to the still small voice. I find shalom after the conversations I didn't want to have, marveling at the variety of people I meet each day as well as arriving home from a business trip. Discovering how to "take charge of stewarding shalom" is another one of the paradoxes for me. I find rest in knowing that truly “taking charge” is best accomplished by putting God in charge.
Hospitality! Is that also something to be stewarded? Maybe I’ll probe that next time. Stay tuned.