Friday, April 8, 2016

42468 :: A good friend said

A good friend said recently, "This is sure not where I expected to be by now." And I knew what he meant. He recently turned 65, is still working to the best of his physical ability, and believes he has nothing to show for it.

And truthfully, by our society's standards, he is probably right. He owns no home, he drives a 20 year old truck with no prospects of being able to replace it, and has only a meager savings account that would not sustain him for even a year.

This is my same friend who, 16 years ago, sold his home and up and moved to some remote village in Africa and worked with his wife for a year and a half at a small mission hospital because "it was the right thing to do." Many people might look at that and think it was an irresponsible thing to do, but if you talk to my friend (or his wife), they will insist it is one of the best choices they have made in life.

Which leads me to wonder how we shifted our focus from "doing what is right" to "what's in it for me?" At the end of the day, I would so much rather go to sleep knowing that my choices were based on helping others and being of service to my brother than based on whether those choices serve to pad my retirement fund or buy a new car.

I'm not saying that having a healthy retirement fund is bad, but with our limited resources, when we have to choose helping someone with a genuine need or stocking up for a rainy day, I say "to heck with the rain"...

Feed the hungry child in front of you. Cloth the naked stranger in front of you. Tomorrow is not even guaranteed (even if you do have a healthy retirement fund. Just ask those who invested in the dot com bubble or trusted Bernie Madoff), and when the future comes, it is still in our Father's hands. Which brings to mind:

Men of corrupt mind...think that godliness is a means to financial gain...But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
I Timothy 6.5-8

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