Let the fighting begin.
Let the lawyers collect their briefs.
Let the estranged family and distant acquaintances gather to the fray.
"You're too cynical," says my dear reader. However, studies show that lottery winners seldom keep their earnings ... or their friends. They are worse off than before winning, not better. (Click here for a report.)
Except that trials come. Troubles swarm us just as they did before. We lose our jobs and friends wonder if we've gone nuts. We've splurged here and there on spiritual speculations and emotional highs, following our desires and instincts rather than God's plan for us. So we feel spiritually empty.
Instead of investing in our salvation and exploring the heights and depths of God's love, we've squandered the Pearl of Great Price as though it was ours to spend freely. We've ignored wise counsel and the disciplines of discipleship to run here and there as "King's Kids," spoiled brats who squawk at the slightest inconvenience or pain.
In contrast to the prodigal son who wasted his treasure, how can we carefully nurture and care for the Gift of New Life entrusted to us?
- Value the Giver. Acknowledge that this treasure, given to us in 'earthen vessels' (according to Paul) is a gift only God can bestow.
- Value the Gift. Cherish salvation and life with God. Recognize its unique ability to bring peace on earth and goodwill among people on whom God's favor rests.
- Invest the Gift. Read, pray, meditate, plan, and spend wisely. The way you handle the treasure God has give you determines not only your future but influences the decisions of those around you.
- Be willing to give all you have to keep the Gift. Treasuring God's Gift may cost you all temporal things, even life itself. Relationships. Friendships. Family ties. Money. Time. Salvation and a relationship with God may cost you EVERYthing.
Then God will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You've won the right to be with me forever."