Story of the Day for Monday January 23, 2012
Take Them On Picnics, and Stuff
They began selling their goods and possessions and handed them out to anyone as he had need.
Neil Kurshan tells the story of a medical student who was torn between completing medical school or dropping out to raise a family. She presented her dilemma to a counselor – who suggested she could do both. She could hire someone to look after the children while she completed her degree.
The medical student told the counselor she had vowed never to entrust her children to a nanny, and then explained why.
Her wealthy parents would vacation in Europe each year and left her with a nanny. When she was eleven, the nanny quit – just before they were planning to leave for Europe. Just before they were set to leave, they found a replacement.
The daughter noticed her mom was wrapping up all the silverware and jewels, and asked why. She had never done that before. Her mother explained that they couldn’t trust the new maid with the family valuables.
That remark deeply shook her daughter. Her mother was entrusting her to a stranger. Wasn’t she a “family valuable”?
There is, of course, nothing wrong with hiring babysitters. But we must realize that it is easy to confuse what is truly valuable in life. When Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive, in one simple statement he clarified the proper relationship between possessions and people.
Sociologists at the University of Oklahoma asked students their memories of Christmases past. The students recalled all kinds of family activities and Christmas traditions. But, surprisingly, no one mentioned a single present they received.
When the Roman general, Decius, returned victorious after subduing the Gauls, he used his military power to overtake the government, and crowned himself as the Roman Emperor.
Once in power, he launched a vicious persecution of Christians. In the year, 258, the Roman bishop, Sixtus, was martyred. Then Decius had Lawrence, the church’s treasurer, brought before him. Decius promised Lawrence freedom if he surrendered all the church’s treasures.
Lawrence agreed to present the emperor with the church’s wealth, but he would need three days to collect it. The emperor granted the request.
Three days later, Lawrence assembled a group of the poor, the sick, the elderly, widows, and orphans. “These,” Lawrence announced to the emperor, “are the treasures of the Church.”
Never keep your treasures in a bank. It’s far too confining, and they’ll wind up eating all the suckers on the bank teller counters. Keep your money in a bank, but hold your treasures close to your heart. And take them on picnics, and stuff.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)