Luke 12:13 – Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (NLT)
During the past several decades, one particular industry has sustained rapid growth regardless of the economic conditions. Even when the economy has sustained losses, this industry grew. What is this industry? Self Storage units. In just that past four years, the amount spent on self storage construction grew from one billion to five billion! When one considers that the annual revenue in the United States from self storage units is close to forty billion per year, not a bad investment. Today there are over 60,000 self storage units in the United States. It seems as if we don’t necessarily need bigger barns, but we sure do need more space to store all of our stuff.
How much stuff is enough? I wonder if there might be some sort of correlation between the rise of self storage units and rise of various social ills. Perhaps not, for humanity has always suffered from their fallen nature, but I do believe that the rise in self storage units paints a picture of a society focused on having more.
In today’s reading, Jesus tells us the cost of staying focused on having more – we lose focus on God and upon godly things. Having stuff is not a sin, valuing our stuff more than we value a rich relationship with God is sin. Jesus teaches us that nurturing our relationship with God should be our first priority. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us that when we seek God’s kingdom first, all the rest will be given to us. Does this mean we will have an abundance of stuff if we seek God first? No, it means we will be satisfied with what we have when we seek God first.
Let’s strive for a rich relationship with God, and the rest will take care of itself.
Posted by Ramón Torres