The choices we make in life determine the kind of people we become, and the way we live our lives. We can think that life revolves around us, that it’s all-about-me, or we can be aware that there is a God who has everyone’s best interests at heart, which may sometimes mean that it may appear that I’m having a rough deal, until I open my eyes and find that God is right there, alongside and caring.
 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”  Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:13 – NIV)
The question that kicks off this passage is one that is currently uncomfortably personal to me. I don’t want to go into details, but when I read the first couple of verses I was stopped in my tracks. It was as if God was saying to me, “OK. It’s your choice. Who are you going to choose to be like in this story?”
And the answer from my perspective is not easy. It would be all too easy to expect God to take my side as I spill out a whole spiel about how hard done by I am, how unfair the situation is and how much I need what has so far been denied me.
But I know that if I do this my treasure, and therefore my heart, will be in a very wrong place.
All through my life, and especially in the last 20 years, I’ve experienced the caring provision of God in so many ways. I’ve tried hard to put following Jesus first, a decision that I’m sure has caused my family to question my sanity on many occasions! When God has blessed me financially, I’ve tried to be open-handed with what God has so generously provided. In the tough times I’ve often been surprised by the way God seems to step in…a sudden burst of work, surprise encounters that lead to ongoing working relationships, a customer pay-out when my private pension company was sold to another owner…even sometimes brown envelopes through the door or unexpected generosity from friends.
It seemed, as I read these stories that Jesus was presenting me yet again with choices…where is my treasure and who has my heart. Do I want to resemble the self-centred, life’s-all-about-me attitude of the one who thought he could leave God out of his life?
Or, do I want to admit that I’m not really very self-sufficient at all, and need God’s help to live the kind of life that brings help and healing to people and truly honours God.
For me, it’s a no-brainer really.
But just now, I needed the reminder. Lord, help me to live up to your confidence in me.