Today’s guest blogger is Joe Kay, a writer living in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Recently, I learned about an immigrant who started a small business and was successful enough to get a nice house and send his kids to school. He never spent much on himself, except for his one hobby. He liked to go to the race track. Occasionally, he would hit a jackpot on a long-shot finish. On the way home, he would stop at his church and donate his winnings. The priest would ask if he was sure he wanted to give it away, and the immigrant would say, “Yes, father. Give it to someone who needs it. I have enough.”
We don’t hear that phrase much these days, do we? Certainly not in our culture, which insists that there is never enough of anything. Billionaires insist on bigger bonuses. Wealthy athletes get upset if someone else at their position makes more. Commercials try to persuade us that we won’t be happy until we buy more of what they’re selling. You have a cell phone? It’s not enough—you have to have the latest one. Act now and you‘ll get twice as much of our product. Do you want to super-size your order?
We hear it so often that it’s easy to start judging our worth by how much we have in comparison to others. Those with the most are thought to matter the most. We think we can never get enough or have enough.
And we never learn to be really thankful. Instead of appreciating all that we’ve been given, we look for ways in which it’s inadequate. We are supposed to want something else, something more.
Isn’t it interesting that when a storm flattens a neighborhood, survivors say they haven’t lost anything truly important? They realize still have what matters—life, love, family, friends, the gift of another day full of grace and possibilities. Then they go on and help one another rebuild their lives.
Don’t those moments remind us of our abundance, and also remind us how we must share? Then learn the meaning of the message that a person with two coats ought to give one to the person who has none—one coat is enough. A person with water should share with the thirsty. Those with food should invite the hungry. Those who can move about freely should spend time with the lonely person who is confined. The healthy should help to heal those who are hurting. The strong must protect those who are struggling.
Featured photo: PhotoXpress.com/Emin Ozkan