In a discussion with friends from another country, comparing notes about life as lived in our respective countries, I realised that their idea of abundance was not to buy and hoard things, but traveling to other countries, exploring and experiencing their culture, food, sights etc. It was being able to work with refugees, teaching them life skills and ensuring they were equipped to live in the new country.
Basically their goals were the freedom to pursue their interests and the luxury to realize their passions.
I was struck by difference between our outlooks on what is worth pursuing.
For us, it’s all about how much material wealth that we have, the quantity of what we have as cash. Theirs is all about the quality of life they lead and have. Ours is about the ability to buy or spend, while theirs was about the ability to experience different things. Ours is all about tangible things, while theirs is about intangible things. Ours is about acquisition of concrete things, while theirs is the accruing of exploring experiences. Ours is about saving for some distant secure future, while theirs is about enjoying the present and savoring the day-to-day life.
We have lost out on teaching our children to decipher what is of value and what is worth saving. We have traded real treasures for baubles and trinkets that neither have substance nor provide satisfaction. We have given up the training of our children for the provision of comforts that may end up destroying them. We have forgotten that our future is our children and traded the spending of time-in-hand with them for the acquisition of something we may lose any time.
Jesus taught us to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first and promised other things will be added to us. He asked us not to waste our time and energies for things that have no value in eternity.
Let’s wake up to what in the true sense is wealth, abundance and of value.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21).
Father, impress upon us the sense of what is of real worth and help us to transfer that sense to those who have real worth – our children and our generations!