Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" 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." Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, `What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' 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. And I will say to my soul, `Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 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?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
There was a cost/benefit ratio for me in the experience. In the old neighborhood schools few of us went on to college. In the new development everyone was "expected" to go to college. We had lots of homework and suddenly there were lots of books around to read, which was not the case in the "old" family. I became the first in my family to go to college, and I considered that then and still do a bit of an achievement.
I was rescued from a life sentence of minimum wage jobs. Most of the attractive union jobs held by my "old" family have gone overseas now. And I have gone on to the comfortable life of a respected clergyman. My family had appealed to me not to go into the church business. I protested. "I like people", I said..."then go into personnel at least" they pleaded.
Whether we were union or management, we all believed in the "bottom line". It was all right to go to church as long as you didn't take that too far. I took it all the way to the priesthood. That was way too far. We were a "born-again" secular family whether union or management and we believed the the power of the "Greenback".
Among those eternal gifts, are the gifts of life, and love and eternal life. Those are the things that matter. Those are the things that shall endure.