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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Contentment

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  July 1, 2020 --

Proverbs 30: 7-9 Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

The above quote from Proverbs is worthy of much meditation. It occurs to me that many of us who feel that we don’t have enough of something, whether it be money or other worldly goods, may already have more than we need. The truth is, the more we have of worldly goods over and above our actual needs, the more they tend to estrange us from God. This is not to say that we should not set aside savings for our old age or for emergencies, but rather once we have done so then what we have in excess is an interference and a burden. (And if we DO have an excess and yet have not set aside a savings plan for our old age, then we are foolish.)

What about the two extremes in the above proverb? Firstly, what if through inheritance or good fortune our wealth increases far beyond our needs? Then our best recourse from a spiritual standpoint is to dispose of our excess in ways that are to the benefit of humanity.

If very wealthy, we could set up foundations to distribute the excess where it will do the most good. If only moderately wealthy we should find our own good causes to support, such as Habitat for Humanity or Food for the Poor or our local food bank or homeless shelter. Or look around for people who have not enough for even their minimal needs and reach out and help them.

And if we find ourselves at the other extreme, with a struggle to meet even our basic needs? I have no easy answer for this but can only offer the following: 1, from our Grange ritual, “look forward to better and brighter days instead of mourning over the past”. 2. Focus on all the positive things around you. Even if you don’t have much, you may be rich in your own way.3. “God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” (Psalm 9:18)



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