The Measure of a Life –
Last week my car was stolen. I parked it at the end of the drive way and around 4 AM my neighbor called to say he was woken by the sound of broken glass, looked out his window and saw some people pushing my car down the street. There were two cars involved in the theft: one was a smaller car that led the way. The second vehicle was a van/SUV. The thieves pushed the car down the street in relative quiet. The neighbor called us and woke us up around 4:10 AM. Like a firefighter, I jumped into my clothes, raced outside to our other car and vainly tried to find my car. The condensation from the night created a water-track from the driveway to E. Jefferson, north on Hibbard and west on Agnes. The water tracks stopped on Agnes. I assume the care was hoisted on to some type of truck at that point. Driving through the neighborhood at that time of the morning, when darkness falls like a canopy over the city, I kept looking, but all in vain.
It bothers me to be ripped off in any manner. There were books in mailing packages I had prepared to send to Miami, Florida for a speaking engagement at the Church of the Open Door. That was the only thing of value to me in the car. When the police found the car it was stripped, but the books were still there! A kind officer returned the books to my church and now I have to move on beyond that vehicle. The car was stripped and declared a total loss.
As I think about the theft and loss of my car I think about the words of Jesus regarding the proper attitude we should take regarding material possessions:
Luke 12: 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.
Friends have tried to cheer me up by reminding me that it was a blessing no one tried to take the car from me at a gas station or while I was in the vehicle. Yes, that is true, and I really am ok with having to start over again and get another car. Some are surprised that this is the first time in my life I have had a car stolen. The only thing stolen from us in 40 years of marriage was an extensive set of “Super Soakers” my children played with that were stored in the garage.
Listen to the larger passage that Jesus teaches regarding attitudes towards material possessions. I have moved on beyond the car, but it is a little rattling to think that someone might take anything you own.
Luke 12: 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” 
Questions for Reflection:
- What are your thoughts about Jesus words regarding possessions?
- Out of all the things you own, what would hurt you most if it were stolen?
- How can the Lord help us in our attitude towards material things?
Lord, help me with my attitude towards my possessions. Teach me the importance of enjoying the nice things of life without becoming obsessed with the accumulation of things. Help me to recognize the things that matter most in life. Prepare me now to rise above personal desires and to seek those things that can provide me with spiritual substance, faith for the journey and love that never will end. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 12:15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 12:13–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.