Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. John 6:27
This story is about labouring for riches. There is a labour in which the mind and heart engage without the body. It's called desire. It is something we must direct according to the Holy Spirit.
I may have shared this before, but the story is so real it touches every heart.
There was a middle-aged woman who lived on the edge of town near a hill. One day she decided to pack a small picnic basket and go for a walk on that hill — something she had done numerous times over the years.
The clouds formed and moved above her on that sunny afternoon, as they did when she was a child. This lovely Christian lady ate her sandwiches and tea cake and drank her thermos tea while overlooking the town she had grown up in. It brought a smile to her face.
When it was time to go, she packed up her basket and began walking home. Then a glitter caught her eye. Bending down to brush the grass away, she was amazed to find a very large uncut gemstone half-buried in the hillside soil. It looked like it had been sitting there for many years. She thought, "This must be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars"
While strolling back to her humble rental house, her mind began thinking of what she would do with the money. "Well, I think I'll buy a small affordable house and a car that doesn't break down all the time. I could give some money to my sister to help her, and put the rest in a savings scheme for when I get old."
Just on entering her front yard, a vagrant walked by sighting the basket. He asked if she had anything to eat. As she opened the basket and handed the man the remains of her food, he spotted the jewel and became bolder. "May I have that too?"
Looking at his beggarly clothes filled with holes, and toes poking out of his shoes, the woman felt sorry for him. Ignoring her own dreams and aspirations, she handed over the jewel as well.
The man was so stunned, he ran away laughing loudly while punching the air. He was carrying the jewel and food, as well as a smile larger than he'd had in years. All his dreams had come true he thought. He couldn't get his mind off his new future. "I'll buy myself a sports car and some fancy clothes. I'll get an apartment and throw some parties, and drink plenty of champagne and eat caviar."
The next morning, the woman heard a knock on her door. As she opened it, the vagrant was standing there. Before he could open his mouth, she said, "I really don't have anything else to give you."
The vagrant said, "Yes you do," as he returned the jewel to her. "I don't want this," he said. Amazed, the woman asked, "Well, what do you want?"
He replied, "I want what is in your heart that enabled you to give me that jewel in the first place!"
There are the lower riches that pertain only to this world. But higher than that are the riches that transcend all languages, cultures and realms, reaching unto heaven itself.
When we deny our natural desires, handing our future to the Lord, we end up with riches that pass all understanding and defy all logic.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, please make my heart like that woman's. I want the higher riches.
Photo by Yuri Bodrikhin