It’s Trump, you say, or Duterte, or Kim, or religious extremism, or – I don’t think so. I think it is simpler. The problem is you and I.
“You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have (accumulated) to whom will they belong? So it will be for the one who stores up treasure but is not rich in what matters…”
So easy to waltz through this oft quoted passage as yet another warning vs materialism and greed; which it is. But this morning, I’m hearing this parable speak of something much deeper, much more perverse and sinister. Perhaps the root of all evil and what’s wrong with the world that we cannot blame on Trump et al, because we’re all guilty here.
The story begins:
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself ‘what shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?…I shall build larger ones and there I will store all my grain and other goods…(and I shall) eat, drink and be merry…”
Right there – right there is the root of it all. No love, no compassion. The rich man had an overflow of abundance. But instead of looking to share with others, all he thinks is to accumulate and hoard it all for himself. We have built perverse societal norms where success, happiness and peace of mind are derived from how much I have accumulated for myself. Always me, me, me (and my family).
Never mind the needs of people who surround me, whose pains and hungers I am so abundantly graced to heal and fill. Like the rich man, instead of doing the right and kind thing, which is to give and share out of our abundance, we hoard it all for ourselves!
Strangely enough all this selfishness merely digs a deeper and deeper lack of appreciation of our own gifts and the innate abundance and sheer mad beauty we have each been blessed with. Ultimately, greed dis-graces our own Self first and foremost. Refusing compassion for others, we rob ourselves of the true beauty and purpose of our gifts, which is transcendent. What a tragedy that we accumulate our way to death instead of sharing and giving our way through life.
I’m not talking about charity work; I’m talking about nothing less than living each day with the desire to give and share out of the fullness of our gifts. This is the purpose and meaning of all life.
So that’s how the story ends:
“You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have (accumulated) to whom will they belong? So it will be for the one who stores up treasure but is not rich in what matters to God.”
What is this that matters to God that the rich man so clearly rejects?
That we Love. That we give out of all the abundance we have been given. That we wake each day with the desire to share fully of ourselves.
Forget Trump, forget Republicans, Democrats, tyrrants, dogma, religion and all the other confusing divisive stuff.
We need no one and nothing more than ourselves and our gifts to walk each day with the desire to love, share and give.