Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:8, 17 (NLT) [emphasis added]
I think back to all I have experienced in this life journey and consider which handful of moments have been the most meaningful, spiritually rich, life-giving experiences I have yet known. The most important element seems to be the people I was with in the experience. A few of the experiences involve art, music, or worship. To be completely honest, a few begin with just Wendy, me, and good food – and end with just Wendy, me, and no clothes (Have I mentioned that God loves sex between husbands and wives?!). Sitting back and analyzing here in the pre-dawn hour, I notice, that most of these amazing, life-giving experiences have three common threads:
- Good company (family/friends/loved ones)
- Good food (a feast, a celebration, or just a good meal)
- Good conversation (usually including laughter, and occasionally tears)
I was struck this morning by both the admonishment to be content with food and clothing, and the encouragement that God gives us all we need for enjoyment. How fascinating that not one of the experiences to reach the experiential pinnacle of my forty-some years of conscious memory have anything to do with gadgets, cars, homes, jobs, possessions, sports, bank accounts, IRAs, fortune, or fame. Certainly, a few of the meals and the locations of the meals were the result of the money that made them possible. It is not the food or the location, however, that ultimately made the experience so life-giving – but the people and the interaction.
I am challenged this morning by this realization. If I know that what has been truly enjoyable and life-giving is being around good people, breaking bread together, and engaging in good, life-giving conversation, then why is so much of my life discontentedly drained by chasing after those things which don’t even appear on my list?