Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
A week ago, at Christie’s Auction House in New York City, a portion of the art collection of Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, was sold for 1.6 billion dollars. Paul Allen, who also owned the Seahawks, died of cancer four years ago at the age of 65.
There are many things that money can buy: luxuries, experiences, private planes, access to the world’s power brokers, homes, cars, the finest medical care, and art collections. There are many things that money cannot buy: happiness, health, protection from aging or disease, time, love, or integrity.
Death is the great equalizer. Paul Allen, the local barber, and the fallen soldier in Eastern Europe all look the same when they are dead. Ashes to ashes. Rich or poor, no one escapes the reality of our shared humanity. Naked we arrive and naked we depart. And there are no U-Hauls behind hearses. We take nothing with us when we go.
If we are rich, our art collections go to Christie’s, but for most of us, our possessions will end up at Senior Thrift, the Habitat for Humanity store, or the dumpster beside the for-sale sign at our home. Our children will have little interest in our collections, furniture, China or silverware.
We own nothing. We are simply stewards for a short period of time. Taking care of the garden, changing the oil in the car, rearranging the deck chairs, trying to keep our frail flesh functioning.
Paul Allen was wealthy beyond our wildest dreams, and he took nothing with him as he made that final journey home to meet his maker. His art collection was auctioned off and the proceeds will go to charity. In 2010 Paul Allen had taken The Giving Pledge. He promised to give at least half of his vast fortune to charity. That benevolent giving will have a much longer lifespan than Paul Allen did. Blessed to be a Blessing!
This week Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that he would give the vast majority of his 124 billion dollars to charity during his lifetime. Blessed to be a Blessing.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Life is not without its challenges, but we have much to be thankful for. We are not billionaires like Allen and Bezos, but most of us are among the richest 5% of all the world’s humans.
For perspective, a net worth of $110,000 would put one in the top 10% in the world. That net worth would include your home, cars, retirement accounts, your Starbucks coffee mug collection, and that box of eight track tapes in the basement.
Blessed to be a Blessing!
May God bless you this Thanksgiving!