Story of the Day for Wednesday September 12, 2012
A Wild Enjoyment in Possessions
Hope in . . . God, who provides us riches for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and extravagant in sharing.
1 Timothy 6:17-18
Randy Pausch captured the hearts of many Americans when he realized he was dying of pancreatic cancer, but refused to let his terminal illness break his spirit. He helped remind us of the priorities that are so much greater than material things.
In his book, The Last Lecture, Randy recalled the time when he was still a bachelor and bought a new Volkswagen Cabrio convertible. He went to his sister’s house and picked up his seven-year-old nephew, Chris, and Laura, his nine-year-old niece.
Their mother warned them to be careful in their uncle’s new car. “Wipe your feet before you get in it. Don’t mess anything up. Don’t get it dirty.”
As Randy listened to his sister’s stern warnings he realized the kids were being set up for failure. Of course they’d eventually get the car dirty – it’s just what kids do.
Randy opened a can of soda, and while her sister impressed on her kids the need to be careful, Randy slowly and deliberately poured out the can of soda on the back seat of his brand new convertible. He wanted to convey to them the message that people are more important than things.
He was glad he spilled the soda in front of his nephew and niece because later on Chris threw up in the backseat. The poor boy would’ve felt horrible and guilty, but he had already learned from his crazy uncle that the backseat had already been christened.
If you bought a brand new convertible, could you pour a soda on the backseat like Randy did? I don’t know if I could. But don’t you wish you could? I’ve never met anyone who says they value possessions more than people. But, it’s one thing to say it; it’s another thing to live it.
As much as we want to guard our precious possessions, we should ask ourselves this question: who do you believe finds a wilder enjoyment in possessions – those who live like Randy Pausch, or those who would blow a gasket if a kid gets the backseat of their new car a little dirty?
Oddly, the more we covet and cling to material things, the less we enjoy them.
God invites us to be extravagant in our generosity. I hope it’s not irreverent to say that God is obsessive, but, if God is obsessive about anything, it is about giving. He would give you the moon. He would give you his only Son. Invariably, when you read in the Bible about God’s love, you will find him giving you something.
If you’re like me, and not quite to the point of wanting to pour pop on the back seat of a new car, maybe we can start by taking the next step: keeping a can of soda stashed under our car seat . . . just in case we get in the mood.
And store some towels too so your passengers don’t ride around with wet butts.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)