“But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?’ This is the way it will be for those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God.” – Luke 12:20-21

My wife, Rebekah, often accuses me of “shopping like a European.” What she means is that I tend to go to the store every couple of days and buy just a few things, rather than do the classic “Stock up at the Sam’s Club and stuff three weeks of food in the fridge” suburban American approach.

She has a point. But seriously, I’d much rather keep my food in the grocery store and just pick up what I need once in a while—then let Publix pay to keep the freezer running. Besides, at least this way my fruit and vegetables tend to be fresher.

But this week I really am shopping like a European because we are staying in our son Andrew’s apartment in Dresden, Germany. That means we took the #3 tram into the city and came home with a bag stuffed with fresh vegetables and scallops and good German beer and I took over their kitchen, and it was wonderful.

It was good to walk in the cool evening breeze and listen to the sounds of the city and fill the small apartment with good roasted veggie smells and relax after a long day.

Such simple pleasures. And quite the contrast after spending an instructive day touring the ‘Summer Residence’ of Saxony’s Augustus II the Strong.

We learned about Augustus when Rebekah and I took the bus along and over the Elbe on into the beautiful Saxon countryside. The gardens at ‘Schloss Pillnitz’ are extensive and interesting, but the palace and its surroundings comprise a spectacular example of what it means to suck every ounce of resource out of the surrounding population and apply it to the self serving extravagance and pleasure of just a few entitled people.

It’s a pattern I see repeated over and over, and it never seems to turn out too well for anyone.

We simply can’t live that way. This world is beautiful, it is rich and it is not ours to own. It is ours to share.

Just a thought here from the edge of what I know and at the edge of what is unknown…yet possible.

Redemption is always possible.

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.