Tell people who are rich at this time not to become egotistical and not to place their hope on their finances, which are uncertain. Instead, they need to hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others. When they do these things, they will save a treasure for themselves that is a good foundation for the future. That way they can take hold of what is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
This morning’s post is not necessarily built around this photograph, but the image definitely sums things up for me. It’s a composition that represents so much about what makes life good.
We talked about this a little during my Bible study this morning. The idea of abundant life, life that is complete, full, joyful, authentic, and – most importantly – loaded with meaning.
It brought to mind the story of husband-and-wife doctors who left their modest family practice when offered the chance to “make more money” in a more corporate enterprise. They became absorbed into a high-priced and high-maintenance life, overworked, overstressed, and burdened with liability issues. They worked extra hours at additional locations so their children could go to private school, they stretched the budget for a huge home they seldom spent time in, and they became alienated from both their marriage and their authentic selves.
The “more money” that had sounded so alluring both created and sustained the lifestyle they had believed they wanted. But it also kept their noses the the grindstone while doing nothing to give them joy. Fact is, they were happier when they enjoyed a more modest life as a family and spent time together, invested in their church and community – more connected to meaning and purpose than to acquiring more of the trappings of wealth.
In this pandemic, I pray that we all become more attuned to meaning, and purpose, and a quality of life that is rooted in what actually has substance, and the quality of abundance Jesus was so clear about in his teachings.