One day a father and his rich family took his young son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son “What did you learn?”
The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard; they have a whole horizon. When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!” -Author unknown
As you move through your day, count how many times you stare past the moment – pressing to reach another destination point. Maybe it’s wishing a certain meeting were over, maybe it’s a particular chore you don’t enjoy, maybe it’s getting an errand completed, or a workout finished. Maybe it’s picking the kids up, getting through their homework, getting organization into the night activities. If we are not careful, life will become a blur, a routine of black outs, where now is never good enough and tomorrow is simply a repeat of today. We will look only to realize that we have missed the parade and there’s no reclaiming its wonder.
The little boy in the story savored the natural gifts of life. He received their wonderment and filled up on their richness. The child’s fulfillment is God’s intention for us. When we tighten our grip only on achieving, when we clench our jaws to make time work just for us, we become like the rich, young man – wealthy but hollow.
The young man’s invitation to follow Jesus resonates with us. While we may not have abundant wealth, we do have abundant minutes. Sadly, the young man turned away from Jesus to preserve his assets. To live joyfully and fully with our Lord, we need to aspire to a rich calling – keep both feet in the minute and enjoy a spirit of renewal.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team