I’ve been thinking more about Greed, after my last post. I read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 in the book of John, and I wondered why so many people came to hear a famous speaker, and didn’t plan ahead for food.
Probably because they were poor. The poor people usually liked to hear what Jesus had to say – it was the rich who thought he was full of it. So thousands of poor people figured “hey, I’ve got nothing to do today, and that famous guy is in town, I think I’ll go check it out”. They showed up empty-handed, and from the sound of it, spent an entire day (or longer) there.
I’ve been to a few festivals, and I know if I spend an entire day outside I’m going to be hungry and thirsty. When I get hungry, I quickly become angry and weak. In this story, Jesus spends a day surrounded by 5000 (that’s a lot) people wandering around, talking and listening. They’re hungry and have no money for food.
I picture that when the people in the back received word that food was being passed around, they were pretty excited. Free food, at that. A friend of mine went to a work Christmas party this year which included an open bar. People drank all night long, and picked the most expensive drinks, because the tab wasn’t on them. They became greedy for more, simply because it was available. In John’s story, I imagine this meal took a long time to serve. As more food kept passing by, people probably ate quite a bit. I know I would! I imagine these greedy hands grasping at as much food as they could, not knowing when they would eat again.
They stopped only when satisfied. And Jesus saw fit to have leftovers! Nothing speaks “security” to me like knowing there will be enough for later. I know that sometimes God gives us just enough and we’re to not ask for more than what we need today, but when God also provides enough for later, I feel satisfied and not afraid.
So if the trick to a life without greed is to know I am satisfied, what’s the trick to being satisfied?
I think that last sentence was my biggest question in 2011. It’s been a challenging year, but a fun one full of questions and answers. I’m learning to be satisfied where I’m at in life, and not constantly chasing after more. I love asking big questions and working them out over and over, and I’m excited to keep doing so. Thanks for giving me the space to do that here in this blog!