by Ken Rolheiser
All the granaries of our lives

Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Later they sent gifts to their Mother. The first built her a big house. The second sent her a Mercedes with a driver. The third, because his mother’s eyesight was so poor, sent her a remarkable parrot that could recite the entire Bible. It took twelve years to teach him.

Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks: "Milton, the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house."
"Gerald, I am too old to travel any more. My eyesight isn't what it used to be. I stay home most of the time, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!"
"Dearest Donald," she wrote to her third son, "you have the good sense to know what your Mother likes. The chicken was delicious!”

Travelling across the vast expanse of Saskatchewan prairie frees the mind and liberates the imagination in marvellous ways. You could say it can be inspirational at times.

On a recent trip I reflected on how my thoughts have changed over the years driving to Saskatoon where I first met the love of my life and where our first child was born.

As a young man I was restless, hungry for undefined things, seeking, setting goals and always anxious in an unfulfilled sort of way. There was a constant shortage of money; there were dreams, desires and longings, and to keep myself awake while driving, I could always let my worries entertain me.

Today I am more relaxed as I drive. I rely on my companion or on music, coke and a fruit-nut mix to keep me awake. My worries are fewer and my life less anxious. I am more likely to be counting my blessings.

On this week’s trip my wife pointed out a long, double line of granaries one particular farmer had amassed. And the thought struck me, “What do I have in the granaries of my life? Fortunately there is more than perishable goods.

I picture the granaries of my life as full now and my dreams as largely fulfilled. There is much gratitude for the wonderful gifts of spouse and family. Investments in community and church pay dividends. Even my income has improved over the years so I can see ends meeting, eventually. There is much to be grateful for.

Sadly, not everyone finds contentment in their senior years. Many are like the foolish man in Luke 12 where Jesus tells us this parable:
“The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns [granaries] and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

May you lay up treasures of heaven in the granaries of your life. And may you die rich in the Lord.

(583 words)