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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Riches of Summer

It’s a beautiful end of summer day. The warm sun revives me and surrounds me with God’s love. Both are a precious gift from Him. The butterflies are feeding on my flowering broccoli plants that I haven’t cut down yet. A gentle wind is blowing, and I feel so blessed. I can hear the trickle of our pond’s filter. We have watched our koi and goldfish grow into a good size for our miniature eco system. It’s been a wonderful summer—a trip to Europe with my girls, closing on my house in South Carolina, getting tenants, a little side trip with friends to Stockbridge, but today I have a few hours to myself. I’ve read a lot this summer. Books that are showing me about relationships—the need to deal with our past and to communicate effectively with people, to understand them. I want to write effectively for the Lord, to touch people’s lives.
So what has the Lord revealed to me this summer? How am I growing? What have I learned? You can have all the riches in the world, travel wherever you want, see all the wonders in the world…like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, eat all the greatest foods…like tortellini and paella, but if you don’t have someone to share it with, someone to love then it can be worthless. Now I don’t have all the riches of the world, but I feel rich…even though I’m REALLY missing having a pool that died last year when the liner ripped. Okay, so I’m spoiled. Almost everyone in America is, except the really poor, but I have worked among the truly poor of the world in Mexico, Guatemala, and the Amazon, and I have found that though they lack material possessions, some of them are rich—rich in family, tradition, love and an appreciation for what they do have. We could learn a few lessons from them.
But what is my life lesson this summer? God has blessed me richly, but that did not come instantly or easily. With God’s help, I learned (sometimes painfully) how to be faithful to God and the principles in the Bible. It’s not some secret formula. All of us can experience the riches of Christ—a hope in our heart for the future, knowing that God is at work in our lives( whether or not we want to give Him credit or ignore Him). But most importantly—learning how to love and serve others, to forgive, to work diligently at all God has placed before us, like King Solomon (the richest man in the ancient world) declared in Eccl. Then we can reap the benefits: love, peace, joy and contentment—knowing that we are doing what God intended for us to do, which can sometimes take a lifetime because it’s a journey. But as we seek God step by step, we will experience riches. That’s what I’ve learned! How about you?