A Little Bit More
Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. One day he received a novel offer. For 1000 rubles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day. The only catch was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown. Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point. He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run, knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost. As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, he staggered across the finish line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed, and in a few minutes he was dead. Afterwards, his servants dug his grave; so his final land grab was six feet long and three feet wide. The title of Tolstoy's story was How Much Land Does a Man Need?
In Proverbs 30, we are given insight into Jesus' instruction for us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread." Here the writer sees both wealth and poverty, success and failure as enemies to be avoided. He prays that God will give him just enough in Proverbs 30:7-9--
7 “Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say,‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
If we have too much, then we will be tempted to have pride in ourselves and decide that we don't need God. If we have too little, then we may be tempted to steal and dishonor God. So the prayer is that God will give him just enough-- his daily bread.
Who is it that you are like. Are you like Tolstoy's farmer who constantly wants more and more... and thus can't enjoy what it is that you have. Or have you learned the secret expressed by the writer of Proverbs-- satisfied with what you have because it is just enough? The difference here is the difference between us owning able to our things and us letting our things come to own us!