Tuesday, February 21, 2012
"Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble . . ."
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
The "Dot Com Bubble", on which millions of investors are riding high, bursts in early 2000. The stock market takes a nosedive. And, so do many individual's retirement nest eggs.
Pastor Wallace learns that Ed, one of his church members, has suffered a particularly severe blow. It can't be easy to lose $400,000 almost overnight. Wallace decides to pay Ed a visit. See how he's holding up.
"Welcome, Preacher!" Ed hollers cheerfully from his front porch when he sees Wallace get out of his car. "What brings you out this way?"
"Just checking in with you, Ed," Wallace answers as he approaches the house.
"Jane!" Ed calls to his wife through the screen door. "Preacher's here. Can you put on some coffee?"
The men shake hands and settle into the wooden rockers on the porch.
"Now, Preacher," Ed begins with a twinkle in his eye, "if this is about the missus and me missing church last Sunday, we were both down with a stomach bug. Don't think you'd have wanted us there."
"No, no, that's not why I'm here," Wallace assures him. "I just got wind of some pretty bad news today. Wanted to see how you are coping with the loss."
Ed looks perplexed for a moment. Then, a slow smile spreads across his face.
"Well, now, news sure has a way of traveling mighty fast in these parts. Should have known better than to say anything to Miss Louise. She's the one who told you, right?"
Miss Louise, the church secretary, had, indeed, been the one to spill the beans.
"Doesn't matter how I heard about it, Ed," Wallace insists. "What matters is how you are dealing with it. I mean, $400,000? That's one whopping amount of money!"
"Yes, it is," Ed confesses, "but, it doesn't matter."
"How can it not matter?" Wallace is incredulous.
"Look around here, Preacher," Ed says with a sweeping gesture. "I got 30 acres. A comfortable home. A car and a truck. They're all paid for. I don't owe anyone a dime. I got my health, the best wife in the world, and the love of Jesus in my heart. What more could I possibly want?"
At that moment, Jane steps onto the porch carrying a tray full of coffee and cookies.
"On second thought," Ed says with a grin, "there is something else I want."
"And, what's that?" Asks Wallace.
"A good, hot cup of coffee!"
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Will you pray with me?
Create in us an attitude of gratitude, Father. May we always be thankful for the blessings you have given us. Remind us that earthly treasures are fleeting, but our treasure in heaven is eternal. Amen.
Psalms 26, 28 or 36, 39
Proverbs 30:1-4, 24-33
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