Nadine and I went on our 20 mile bike ride yesterday. It was a glorious day with no wind and temperatures hovering around 65-70. We passed the fake Swans in the three ponds along Hayden that I wrote about 14 days ago (Fake vs. Real). I can never go by the ponds looking at those swans the same way I did when I thought they were real. We got to the half-way point and began to think of the egg, bacon, and bagel sandwich we would share along with a blueberry smear bialy.
On our way back, we passed the ponds again and something caught my eye. As I looked at the swan, I saw an unusual sight. A bird was sitting on the back of the swan. He ( I called the bird a he, but probably it was a she because women are more insightful and sensitized to life than men)-she was sunning herself and primping her feathers on the back of the fake swan. Not scared. Not intimidated. Fully aware. Living in the real.
It reminds me of a truth that Jesus was speaking about for us to emulate. “Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “ ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’ “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’ “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
Luke 16:1-9 NIV
In our society, we (and myself) have a tendency to think that money will be the end-all of all of our problems. If only we could have more money in the bank. If only I could have more to buy a new car. If only I could have a better job to bring in more. If only I could pay off the loans. If only. We think that money will solve our problems. We idolize it. We worship it. We toil for it. We sacrifice for it. We think it is the real thing. Jesus said that money should be used for a different purpose and that is to cultivate friendships here on this earth. It’s like seeing the swan and putting beauty in the swan for several months only to realize that the swan is only a means to an end as the bird realized. She was using the swan to rest and be refreshed. Jesus said that money should be used for building friendships with others.
As someone once said, you can’t take any money with you. This journey is a process of turning our focus to things that are real and using what God has given us for enhancing life which opens the door to new perspectives of what God intended.