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Three Types of People

7:19 AM
As many of you know, I am taking myself through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in class. The last class covered The Second Week of the exercises. This week is a vacation week. How appropriate!

The Second Week is about surrendering to Christ. One of the meditations in the Second Week is on the three types of people. In actuality, it isn’t three types of people at all, but a progression of faith in Jesus. The first person is that person who has decided to follow Christ in external things. The rich young ruler who asked Jesus what it took to get into heaven and had obeyed all the commandments of God is a perfect example of the first class of person. The second person prays that they would prefer neither riches or wealth, fame or disgrace, health or sickness, nor long life or short. Their preference is to do only that which brings the greater glory to God and causes them to walk more closely with Him. The third person has come to the point where the desire to identify with Christ is so strong that they pray for a life of poverty and disgrace just as Jesus lived. This morning, I was pondering  Luke 12:13-32.

“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

As I read this, I thought about how much I was like this man. My barn is my savings accounts and my retirement accounts. Three years ago, I had built a barn that I was sure would give me the ability to enjoy my retirement years and leave a little nest egg for the kids. Like most people my age, my retirement account has taken a big hit over the last few years. Not only that, I have a vision to open a retreat center for those with addictions. You know the ones I’m talking about, addictions to substance abuse, addictions to work, addictions to possessions, and addiction to people pleasing. To do this, I’m going to have to use some of those depleted monies. This is a huge struggle inside me. I really like my barns! I think to myself, “If I weren’t married it would be different” or “I need to leave some inheritance for the kids” or “With inflation and all will Elise and I have enough?” I want to do what Christ wants me to do but I have so many responsibilities. I feel like Peter getting out of the boat during the storm and immediately beginning to sink. However, as I continued to read, Jesus provided the answer.

He said to (his) disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

I think He wants me to become more like the third type of person, don’t you?


Written by John Hannah

October 14, 2010 at 7:31 am

One Response

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  1. I know that you have moved on to bigger & better things, but it still amazes me that you have set out this course for your life. What a contrast to so many of the stories of former NFL players. PTL!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Ed Fackler

    October 14, 2010 at 8:59 am

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