Yesterday evening I was thrilled to be able to attend the wedding of the daughter of dear friends of ours.
It took a blood transfusion on Friday to get me upright and pointed in the right direction, but there I was Saturday – acting like a semi-normal person (that’s all I am capable of these days), celebrating life and love with friends.
The problem though, was with the friends. They were everywhere.
I was unprepared for the emotional shock of seeing so many people in one place who had chosen to give a chunk of their hearts away to me.
Crazy investors, I call them.
Who in their right mind would invest in a dying man, you might wonder?
These people would – they have made me rich in ways I never knew possible.
As my life has been collapsing around me, these people have been filling in the gaps.
Here’s the thing, though: they don’t seem to be any the poorer for it.
In fact, their faces that night were bright, their hearts aflame, and they appeared wealthy in the truest sense of the word.
(Oh wait, they were at a wedding. So it’s not always about me.)
All of our lives we’re told that life is about accumulating. We are what we earn and own.
When I look at these people, though, I see a different message:
Life is about giving who you are and what you have away
from a generous and joyous heart.
Contrast this with a man who was on a ship that was unfortunately sinking.
He was traveling with a large amount of gold and not wanting to leave it behind, decided to strap the gold bars to his body for safe keeping.
They found him a wealthy man – at the bottom of the ocean.
He had his gold, or perhaps more accurately, his gold had him.
In contrast, here is true wealth in this world – a wealth that can never be lost:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – Paul, I Timothy 6:17-19
Did you follow what Paul was saying?
There is a world coming where doing good, being rich in good works, being generous and ready to share is the very currency of life itself.
We should get ready for it now.
May I remind you?
I am a poor investment.
You would be crazy to invest in me in any way at all.
It would be better for you to burn up your resources in a bonfire in your backyard.
Yet, Saturday I just keep running into people who haven’t been able to stop giving themselves away to me and my family with creativity, generosity, and love.
When I tell them how much I am grateful for their kindness, they look confused.
To them it is just no big deal.
Here’s how I figure this craziness:
We can live to accumulate treasure for ourselves and, like the guy on the ship, we can even die trying.
Treasure does that; it makes us die for it.
But there is a treasure who did just the opposite – He died for us.
When you have Christ and you know that He has you, your soul is filled with immeasurable worth.
When you are treasured at the depths of your soul, your greatest joy is to treasure others as you have been.
Someone said, “Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.”
I remember a bumper sticker from when I was a teenager that said, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
I only ask, “Wins what?”
The great Russian dissident, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, summed it up when he said, “We always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.”
There it is – we can chase after what is cheap or we can treasure others in this world.
What do I call those who treasure people like me?
What do they call themselves?
Apparently, they think themselves wealthy and wise investors.
Like I said, “crazy.”
But with that, how could I ever lose heart?
© Ed Hague. All rights reserved.
P.S. They sang a hymn at the wedding. I made it to the third verse before being reduced to tears.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come,
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far.
And grace will lead me home.