December 28, 2010

Time Out to Take Inventory

Luke 12:13-21

“I’ll say to myself, ‘… Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool!’”
Luke 12:19-20


The rich fool had it made. His life was one great success story. The things he had dreamed about for a lifetime were about to happen. After working hard all his life, he had reached the point where he could take life easy. One more bumper crop, one more expansion of his business, and he was ready to retire and enjoy the rewards of a lifelong effort to make the grade.

And who could blame him? When you’ve worked hard all your life and you have managed to build up your investment portfolio, when you have faithfully added to your 401K and have done well in your career or business, you feel you have earned the right to say, “The time has come to take it easy.” You feel you have laid up plenty of good things for many years. What could be wrong with that?

In the parable of the rich fool, the Lord answers that question. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some of the fruits of our labors. But the rich fool had missed the point of his life: he had not been rich toward God.

As we near the end of another year, we need to ask not only whether our investments did well in 2010. The critical question to ask is “Have we been rich toward God?” That means asking whether we have been generous toward those who need to see God’s love through our support and care.

Lord, some of us have been busy storing up goods for ourselves without giving generously for your kingdom. Forgive us, change our hearts, and help us to be rich toward you. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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