Without a healthy attitude towards money and possessions, everyday life can be miserable. People who think too highly of finances and material goods often live in pursuit of luxuries that leave them unsatisfied. They find themselves with full bank accounts and empty hearts, or end up spending more than they make and struggling under the weight of debts. There is the need for us to put our possessions in perspective.
This little illustration titled “And this too shall pass” powerfully illustrates the need to have money and material possessions in perspective.
“One day James decided to humble Elias, his most trusted servant. He said to him,” Elias, there is a certain apparel that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it to my daughter’s wedding which gives you five months to find it.
“If it exist anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied Elias, “I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the apparel so special?”
“It has magical powers”, answered the king. “if a sad man looks at, he becomes happy”, “if a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad”, “if someone evil steps into any gathering, his motives are quickly detected”. Elias knew no such attire existed in the world, but he wished to give his master a little taste of humility.
Seasons passed and still Elias had no idea where he could find any such apparel. On the night before the wedding, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of the kingdom. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day’s wares on a shabby carpet. “Have you by any chance heard of a magical apparel that makes the happy man sad, the sad man happy asked Elias.
He watched the old man take a plain apparel from his belongings on the carpet and engrave something on it. When Elias read the words on the apparel, his face broke out in a wide smile.
That night of the wedding, the entire city celebrated with the king over the wedding of the wedding of his daughter the princess. “Well my most trusted frien”, said James the king, have you found what I sent you after?” All the kings cabinet members laughed and so did the king. To everyone’s surprise, Elias held up a small apparel and declared,” Here it is, your majesty! “As soon as the James read the inscription, the smile on his face vanished. The old man had written four words -” This too shall pass.”.At that moment James realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.
In many cultures around the world today, we place heavy emphasis on money, designer clothes and accomplishments. Many aspects of everyday life have fallen prey to commercialisation, and societies assign great value to world success and provisions and everywhere we look the message is to earn more, buy more, and have more.
God’s word has much to say to us about money and physical provisions. I 1 Timothy 6:8, Paul writes, “But if we have food and clothes with these we shall be content. Our modern minds can hardly comprehend this statement. We ask,” How in the world could anybody be satisfied with only food and clothing? “. I believe Paul’s point here is more than literal food and clothes. He is referring to the basic needs of life. If our basic needs are met, we need to be happy!
Do we really end up happy?