August 14 – Possessed By Possessions

So are the ways of everyone who is greedy of gain; such [greed for plunder] takes away the lives of its possessors. Proverbs 1:19

I found a wild plum bush in an alley when I was a boy. A friend pointed it out to me and it had not been touched. Being so young, I thought we had discovered an oasis in the desert. I couldn’t hardly wait for the berries to ripen, and in many cases, I didn’t. (Bad idea.)

The day finally came when the majority of the delicious plums were ripe and ready to be picked. Of course I loaded my mouth, then my bucket, which wasn’t very big (the bucket). That’s when I discovered a major problem; my bucket wouldn’t hold all the plums!

Unbeknownst to me, in the course of the wait, I had morphed into a greedy little ungrateful guy. There was no way I was going to let anybody get “my” plums. Af­ter all, I found them (kinda) and I waited for them to get ripe (kinda) and I was doing all the picking myself! Thank God I ate too many in my state of misery and suffered the worst stomachache I had ever had, thus releasing my stubborn possession of the enchanted alley plum bush.

Oh, how I wish greed was isolated to childish fancies and juvenile foolery. But if there was ever a plight so problematic to the whole of mankind, greed would rank high on the chart. I’ve heard it said and wit­nessed it first hand by way of the successful in the land when ask how much is enough, “oh, just a little bit more!” 

For me, “stuff” tends to be a little easier to navigate, simply because I didn’t grow up with much. However that does not excuse me from a careful periodic heart search to see if there is something that has me greedily grabbing for more. But I have found, that in the area of time manage­ment, I have proven an unsuccessful subject more than I care to admit.

It is the one thing that I own, free and clear. It was given to me by my Creator and Father and I choose how it will be spent. Yet, ha­bitually, I have found myself hoarding it doing some frivolous nothingness that ulti­mately benefits my own selfish fancy. For instance, I might turn on the TV to catch a program at the end of the day, and before I know it, I have watched several and the clock reads 2 AM and all the kiddos are tucked away and the wife has been sleep without me for hours.

In my estimation, this is the mission of this Proverb. It makes me stop and take a greed inventory in every area of my life. Wher­ever I am Captain or have a measure of un­limited control, am I in control or am I being controlled? As long as there is still breath in me and the will to change, it is not too late to reverse the curse and re-route the course!

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