The Family Perspective

2015-08-23 Pastor's Corner

It’s been cool having our family visit from the States. We were able to see Panama through four fresh sets of eyes. Those eyes discovered with wonder some of the same scenes and peculiarities that intrigued us. They discovered some things we’d never seen. But what interested me the most was hearing them discover things to which we’ve grown accustomed.

Sue and I have been blessed to see a fair amount of the world. One of the hazards of that privilege is that some things become routine that shouldn’t. I witnessed something anew through my brother-in-law’s experience. Several times, Andy commented on the disparity between how he lives and what he owns compared with the average Panamanian. Not that I’ve grown totally accustomed to the divide, but traveling in the Philippines, South Africa, Peru and Panama has definitely taken the edge off. I realized that I’ve started to see as normal houses that hardly looked livable to my relatives. It was good to hear comments again like …

  • They live with so little … why do I need all that stuff?
  • So many things we think are necessities … really aren’t.
  • I wonder what they think of how we live.
  • They seem pretty content even though they don’t have anything.

We not only need to hear thoughts such as these, we need to keep them close. We need to be thankful for the opportunities and privileges that we’ve had and others have not. At some point we need to realize that more is just more and may, in fact, become a stumbling block to our spiritual life. We need to live with an open hand and remember the warning of our Savior …

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” For the rest of the story read Luke 12:16-21