Today’s Readings: Job 32:1-22; Luke 16:19-31; Psalm 39
The first eight years out of college, I spent time working two different jobs. In my first position out of college I worked as an employee of the state; in the second position, I was an employee of the county.
Neither of those publicly funded positions paid great. Both positions, however, had great benefits. All of my health insurance premiums were paid by my employer, and I accrued both a sick day and a vacation day each month.
Over time I grew to take these benefits for granted. Like many of my co-workers I started focused my attention primarily on my drawbacks of my positions (i.e. low pay, demanding work, etc.). In my ninth year out of college I decided to work for a small private company. I chose to take the position because it afforded me the opportunity to pursue a life-long dream of running for political office during my free time. Right away I noticed the conditions were different. I had no health insurance coverage. I had just one week’s vacation each year, and I got less than a week’s worth of sick leave annually. I never realized how good I had it when I worked those publicly funded positions until I left them.
In many ways, I was like the rich man in today’s story from Luke. I never bothered to stop and appreciate what I had until it was gone. Unlike the rich man in the story, however, I did get the opportunity to go back and share my experience with my former co-workers. Their response was fascinating. They ignored me.
Their response helped me realize that one of the great challenges in life is to be able to appreciate what you have at any given moment and make the most of it. So often we simply take the blessings in our lives for granted. Today, I would encourage you to first stop and appreciate what you have. Then seek out opportunities to share your blessings with others: whatever form those blessings take. If you do that, chances are you won’t find yourself filled with the same thing Lazarus was filled with: regrets. Til next time…