Sunday, June 18, 2017

What's hard about life?

This young fellow came to the teacher and asked what he needed to do to finish well.  He was told to love God and obey the rules.  The guy said he'd done all of that, and the teacher told him to prove it, but he couldn't or perhaps wouldn't.  His wealth and position, it seems, had tainted his thinking, his view of himself, his comfort and luxury and future. He couldn't imagine changing course to a better purpose.

It's hard, the teacher said, for a rich person to finish well. Really hard. Later, the teacher's friends were struggling to understand.  "If that rich fellow can't do it, how can we or anyone?"   There is a way, but it's perhaps not obvious once wealth and class obscure things.

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Now if it turns out we're supposed to choose something more than self and wealth, what is it?

Just to put things in context, the rich young ruler was at the top of the food chain.  He had position and influence, income and a retirement plan, pretty much everything he would need for a good long life.  Only a few folks were well off like him and his family.  Apparently, that can be an impediment.

Back then, regular folks had no wealth.  None.  They depended on a little business, a successful crop, a healthy herd for getting by day to day.  They're like subsistence farmers, perhaps, or the village fisherman of developing countries, or like most of the world today, folks who live on less than $5 per day.  When they pray, "give us this day, bread ...," it's probably for real.

Okay, so we're warned that wealth can become too important in our lives, and we're encouraged to help others, to go all in and really make a difference, ...  and then there's that larger part, the better purpose; we're supposed to follow the teacher.

It can be extraordinarily difficult to fit the framework of such truth onto today's world, especially for rich people.
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"We’re the physical evidence, the tangible proof on this planet that God is good. There’s no higher calling, and there’s no greater truth." -Graham Cooke
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