January 10, 2010

Sunday Inspiration for Simple Living 1 - The Parable of the Rich Fool (or Greed is Stupid)

I'm going to try and provide inspiration every Sunday here at Everyday Simplicity, some words of encouragement in turbulent times.  It's been my experience that no matter who you are, there are times when you need someone to tell you "everything is going to be alright," and Dear Reader, please know that I'd be happy to relate that to you personally if you email me at rkennedy at texas dot com.  Meanwhile, I'm going to be offering an encouraging word or two every Sunday here on my blog. 

Why?  Perhaps you're into downsizing, the slow movement, voluntary simplicity, going green, being frugal, or simple living.  Heck, maybe you're just trying to live through this New Great Depression (look, we know that they say "recession" to try and keep fear levels down).  No matter your reason for altering your lifestyle away from living large, it can be hard to do - frustrating; at times, downright discouraging. Change is never easy. 

I know.  I love living a simple life, but that transition was very hard at times.  And it took me a lot longer than I wanted it to take. Sometimes, it's not easy now.  I wonder about the stability of the FDIC, for example, and what I should do proactively about that insecurity....

So, here's the first week's encouragement.  Something that I find uplifting, and I hope you will, too.  Of course, I'm a Christian (like lots of simplifiers) and I'm providing something from the Holy Bible here.  However, even if you aren't a follower of Jesus, there is wisdom here that I think you will find helpful.  (I've highlighted the phrases I find particularly helpful.)

Parable of the Rich Fool

Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”  Then he told them a story:

“A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

"Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."

Luke 12:13-34 (New Living Translation)

Image:  Wild Daffodils, which I learned are sometimes called "lilies of the field."  Pretty, aren't they?  Have a great week, Dear Reader!!

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