What makes us feel secure? Many people look to tangible forms of security that will safeguard their livelihood and prepare for their future. We tend to associate security with things: the accumulation of goods and possessions, retirement funds, savings accounts, and substantial incomes. While acquiring these promises a life with less anxiety and worry, we actually find ourselves more preoccupied and consumed with their growth and preservation. We worry more! We can easily become quasi-hoarders, consumed with obtaining more tangible crutches. Our minds and hearts are always restless, and we never seem to be at peace.
Why do we so easily give our self-worth, value, and sense of security over to things? God certainly does not deny us the pursuit of a productive and enjoyable life but where do we draw the line? A sense of well-being and happiness can easily get deferred to sometime “in the future” while we continue to wrestle with the toils of today. There is no guarantee that there will be an earthly tomorrow and all of the frenzy we bring to securing our state in life will be for naught. When we are called from this world, will we even know where to begin to look for the tranquility and repose our souls so desperately need?
We cannot be hoarders, pursuers of vanity, or greedy. They just don’t work as they are too dependent on things that can fall apart. Rather than always feeling the need for more, we need to learn how to be grateful for what we have. By learning to look inward we can learn how to live lives of faithful service to others. “Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has, and this requires transforming greed into gratitude (St. John Chrysostom).” We all need to be good stewards of what has been entrusted to our care. Grateful hearts recognize the true source of what we have and realize that our true treasure lies not in what matters to us but to God.
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