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Glimpses of Grace: “Life’s Two Estate Sales”

I had a birthday this past month. I am at that stage in life when asked, “What do you want for your birthday?”, my reply is that I really have no “wants”. If I want something, I buy it or at least learn to do without it. Both my wants and needs are getting simpler with each passing year. However, when pressed about a present, I tell my family to give me something that I can eat or drink or that will sell well at my estate sale. For many, if not most of us, when our time here on earth comes to a close there will be two estate sales; one of our worldly good and another of our soul.

When my folks died, my wife and I were left with the responsibility of sorting through over 50 years of accumulated “stuff”. We did the best we could but I am sure that in the end some of their most precious “heirlooms” were not recognized by me and undervalued.

That is one kind of estate sale, but there is another kind of estate sale: an estate sale of the soul.  In I Chronicles 29 King David set the stage for this latter estate sale. He told the 12 clans of Israel to remember that God is the source of all wealth and power. No one truly pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps because no one can choose the family into which they are born, their time in history, or their nation. For much of their most formative years they are powerless.

In his parables Jesus noted that we begin life with certain opportunities (talents) based on the color of our skin, family of origin, time and place of our birth–all things totally beyond our control. In these parables Jesus said that there is a day of reckoning, or accounting whereby we are judged on how well we used God’s “gifts” in making this world a richer or poorer place. Have we built others up and made them small in order to make us look large. Have we been selfish or generous? Did we see the naked and the hungry and walk by? Did we care not only for ourselves, our kin, our kind, or our generation or did we remember our responsibility to the generations that will come after us? Did we give more than we took, or did we live in such a way that those around us and this world are the poorer by our passing by here? These are the eternal questions that each of us will be asked when the number of our days draw to a close. These are the elements of our spiritual estate, the estate sale of the soul.

Lord, make he conscious that You created me for the purpose of glorifying You not enriching myself in any number of ways. Thank you for your blessings. Make me a good steward in the brief time that I am here on earth. Amen.

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