A mighty dragon sprawls on top of a mound of gold and stolen trinkets, reveling in the feel of every bump and inch of silver, gold, diamonds and more...feeling so content and smug and full, totally satiated with the feel of all that treasure below. He knows every trinket and will fight to the death to keep them, even though the treasure has no purpose, no value for his life. That which he loves becomes his downfall, for in all the stories of dragons, a small, determined man weaves his way through forest, river, and rock to slay the dragon and take the treasure back to mankind.
|Sigurd kills Fafnir|
I want to hoard. I find it hard to spend money, and even justifiable, worthwhile purchases that I can afford make me anxious. I'd rather have the money locked up tight, available for me to ooh and ahh as the small pile builds. But there's never enough, it seems, to find total security and total financial peace.
Should it have taken me so long to realize that money cannot bring that? There were a few years that I was truly bitter about my financial standing. Many people heard about my anxious budgeting and saving (sorry if you were one of them!). I should have stayed focused on the blessings, of which there were many!
In a twist I didn't expect, I find a lot of joy and hope in giving to others. God has cracked my hardened heart! When I donate to my Diocesan Annual Appeal, my neighbors receive direct support that no one parish could provide on it's own. That's amazing! A gift to Catholic Relief Services helps men, women, and children around the globe step closer to clean water. Praise God! Catholic Charities USA continues to be a source of compassionate aid to those in our country. Ave Maria Radio is fantastic to listen to (and support), and of course, my local parish needs steady offerings for maintenance, the faith life, and evangelization.
The promotional videos of the larger charities can be so moving, and I'm always brought to tears at the impromptu stories those helped tell. So many of them say, "When I came to this charity, they treated me like a person." Like a person, not a number. Our culture can be so cruel and cold. I try to support charities that continue to value each person who walks through their door. Every gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference in the lives of others. My husband and I are no where near tithing (10% of our income) but we're taking small steps each year to get to that amount!
When the Prince of Peace comes, will he find me as a dragon, sitting atop the treasure I've been given, hoarding it for myself?
Each day I pray I take small steps out of the cave and into the light.