Parable of the Rich Fool

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“But God said to him ‘you fool,’ This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves, but is not rich towards God.”

Luke 12:20-21

You may recall waking up the morning of December 26, 2004, and learning about the earthquakes triggering the powerful tsunami that swept the coastal areas of Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Many were stunned by the widespread devastation and desperate people. Many Americans were overwhelmed, feeling for a distant people yet unsure how to respond. Others acted quickly. Our daughter, Alexandra, was one of those. Her empathy for others took control and she acted.

Realizing she and her friends had just received an abundance of Christmas gifts, Alexandra asked if we could have a garage sale and give all the money to the orphaned children in Sri Lanka. Soon, flyers covered the neighborhood; people began bringing used toys, clothes and appliances to our house.

On the day of the sale, a neighbor brought a huge bottle, partially full of coins and challenged shoppers to fill the bottle to bolster profits. With enthusiasm, Alexandra suggested I add my gallon jug of change tucked away safely in my closet. When I hesitated, Alexandra looked up at me and said, “Dad, I think those little kids that can’t find their parents need that money more than you!”

Here I was storing up coins for no real purpose, needing my daughter to lead me to a greater cause. I emptied my jug into the large community bottle. I recall the community bottle added $1,800 to the total of over $9,000 raised that day for the children of Sri Lanka. I learned from Alexandra what Jesus was sharing in the parable of the rich fool… storing surplus for ourselves, whether big or small, is not what God intends for us to do with our treasures.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you respond when you hear of tragedy or disaster? What are the treasures in your life that you are storing for personal gain that could be used better for God’s purposes? What might you do with your gallon jug of coins?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, why is it that I can be so selfish when there is so much pain and opportunity all around me to do for others? Help me to let go of the treasures you have given me—whether my time, money, or talents—to seek first your purposes. Thank you, too, that I can learn your will, not only through scripture but through the wisdom of my own children. All blessings flow from you. Amen.

P.S. from Mark: Throughout the season of Lent, the Daily Reflections will focus on knowing Jesus better. They have been written by a talented collection of writers, my associates at Foundations for Laity Renewal. You'll be able to follow this Lenten series through the Daily Reflections.

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