By now you have probably seen this house. It’s actually a guest house. It is the home of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan from United Arab Emirates. You really should see the rest of the house and property. It’s pretty much unmatched. You can see the link here (after you read the rest of the blog!): http://www.anvari.org/cols/Sheikh_Zayed_Bin_Sultan_House.html
You and I are probably not all that different from the Sheikh. If we could have an Audi made out of pure silver or a house that stretches the landscape, we probably would. What I’m saying is I wouldn’t put it by me to turn something like that down. Most of us will work hard and never see even a half a percent of the wealth this guy has accumulated.
The question we should ask ourselves is this: what is the meaning of it all? The wealthiest man ever, Solomon, struggled with that question in the Bible. I guess that most of us, if not all of us, have asked that question before. Here’s a thought. Do we spend all of our time accumulating wealth or do we use the time we work as a bridge to help us develop a “generous eye” toward others?
Several years back, I was on staff at a church and was making the rounds at hospitals. One of the places I stopped was a hospice care facility in Atlanta. There was a gentleman there who was very close to losing his battle with cancer. As I walked into the room, I witnessed his 4 daughters around his bedside, stroking his hair, whispering in his ear, and telling stories of all the good times they had with their dad. There was SO much joy in the midst of such great pain.
That was a defining moment for me. I was not a dad at the time, but I knew that it was a big part of the answer for my question of “what is the meaning of it all?”. I so wanted my future children to talk about me that way and praise the influence I had on their lives. That moment became a game changer for me. It was my compass in life. I was not going to work just to get more and fund my selfish desires. I was going to work to make a difference with my life and work on developing a ‘generous eye’ toward others.
That was probably 7 years ago and I am still inspired by the sights and sounds of that day. Now, I have 2 children. And, it is my hope that they will one day look at me in that same way. And, oh…about the mansion at the top of the page. I don’t worry about stuff like that. Jesus said this: In my father’s house, there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And, if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am you may also be. John 14:2-3
I really don’t care how big the mansions are in heaven. I just want to make Jesus proud of how I represented him here on earth. I want to cross over from this life having made a significant difference and hear “well done, my good and faithful servant” on the other side.
I guess that brings the greatest hope to children like this who don’t want a mansion, they just want food and someone to love them. And, I hope to meet them in their mansion one day in Heaven. Even in this scenario, there can be great joy in so much pain. They need to know that Jesus loves them and that His church cares for them.
Don’t let the luxuries of this world blind you from the tragedies lying right in front of you.
By God’s grace, you and I can make some major change for orphans in our lifetime.
Founder, Patch Our Planet