But God said to him, “You fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?” – Luke 12:20
After a close to three-week drought, the pendulum has swung the other way. We’re a couple of days into what looks to be an eight-day series of deluge after deluge after deluge. And, no – if you were wondering – I was not prescient enough to have scheduled a round of golf while I had the opportunity.
On the plus side, the hydrangea plants are extremely happy, the trees are a solid mass of green and everything in the garden looks to be growing like we’re in the Florida jungle.
Like all things, it’s a matter of balance. Too much; too little. Either way, if we’re not careful, we seem to be inclined to complain.
Abundance and Poverty:
I was thinking about this Friday evening, down at the church. The mid-week men’s Bible-study guys were fixing dinner for our guests (four homeless families including a whole bunch of children). These generous men are of the “why make sandwiches when you can grill all afternoon and serve something truly wonderful” frame of mind.
The men (plus a handful of others) cooked up a feast, they prepared food of the best quality, and they served enough for thirty people. It was deluge after deluge after deluge.
There are so many people who experience drought after drought, in the harshness of a world where it is a crime to be poor. But then they run into Jesus and it is a deluge after deluge after deluge of goodness.
Closer to Home:
Later that same evening, in what should have been a completely unrelated incident, I was doing laundry in our home. The dryer had just turned off and I was quickly folding clothes in an effort to avoid the threat of ironing. I pulled a new shirt out and reached for a hanger and I noticed that the quality of the fabric felt good in my hands.
Then it hit me. This shirt – an expensive item – was purchased exclusively to wear while playing golf. I don’t even play golf that often, and I have five or six golf shirts to choose from. The men I was talking with earlier in the evening have five or six shirts period.
The issue in our town… in our county… in North Carolina… in the USA… in the world, is not a lack of resources. The issue is how they are shared.
God has given the Earth all we need (there is no lack of resources)
And (now I’m thinking out loud here) it’s not a matter of “But this is mine, I earned it, they should earn theirs too…” or even, “How generous of me to share a little of what is mine with these poor/starving/homeless/refugee/displaced/destitute/unlucky souls…”
No, that kind of thinking suggests ownership by individuals of what God has provided for the good of all.
Instead (and remember, this is just me running things through my brain and my heart) maybe the correct relationship we should have to this deluge after deluge after deluge of prosperity we find ourselves immersed in is one of grateful stewardship. “Thank you, God, for giving us the opportunity of making sure no one is left out of your generous provision for humanity.”
Maybe it never was ours to begin with?
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.