“28 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God. 29 who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18: 28-19 NRSV
This morning was an amazing morning for weather, the temperatures were in the 60’s and the sun was shining. I rode my bicycle to work, there were no fires when I got to my office, I even got to sit down and have some quality quiet time. Today is exceptional so far. Even the music played by Pandora let me get into a worshipful state of mind as I began to write this post. It seems things are going right this morning.
I read these words, which come at the end of the parable of “The Rich Young Ruler,” which admittedly is a difficult one for me. But these words sound such a hopeful note after the “doom and gloom” of the early passage. This young man, seeking to justify himself and come away with a pat on the back instead gets a gut check about his wealth. We who live in the United States are so blessed to have more than enough of everything, even when we feel we don’t have enough. We, as the Rich Young Ruler, are often blinded to all the blessings we have, because we see other around us who have so much more. I am so guilty some days of wanting to keep up with others, when I am so incredibly blessed.
But what are the nature of blessings? Are blessing only material or monetary? Or do our blessings include our health, happiness, and the sunshine that is so abundant on a day like today? I love riding my bicycles as I’ve written before, and my commute from my house to the church includes several large hills. By the time I get to the top of these hills I don’t like riding my bike, especially when I’m loaded down with all of my stuff for the day. But when I go home the sides of the hills that were so tough are long descents, and the feeling of flying down a long hill is like no other.
Sometimes we have to struggle to really understand our blessings, and for me riding a bike is an awesome example of this. Because I am the size I am the climbing up a hill is not so fun, but when I fly down the other side it’s always a thrill. We have good times and bad times and life, and often the bad times help us to appreciate all of the good things in our life. Let us remember our many blessings this week…