You Have More than Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller was perhaps the wealthiest private individual who ever lived. At its peak, his net worth in today's dollars may have exceeded $400 billion. He passed away only 85 years ago, which is very recent in historical terms. But if you're an American reading this, there's a strong likelihood that in many ways, you have far more than he did.
He didn't have air conditioning.
He couldn't quickly get a year-round variety of fresh foods like bananas, avocados, kiwis, blackberries, and grapes.
He didn't have a remote control to anything.
He didn't have a microwave oven.
He couldn't watch a color television.
He didn't have a portable video recorder.
He didn't have a computer.
He couldn't surf the Internet.
He didn't have a smartphone.
He didn't have a GPS device.
He couldn't take penicillin.
He couldn't get any type of organ transplant.
He couldn't have an MRI image taken.
Get the idea?
While we don't have the dollars that Rockefeller had, we have access to a great many goods and services that no amount of money could buy only a relatively short while ago.
But beyond even this, in developed nations like that of the U.S., how many of the luxuries enjoyed by the wealthiest among us are merely more of the same luxuries available to nearly everyone? Those on airplanes seated in both business-class and coach get to the same destination at the same time. Bigger homes are just bigger, and most of the additional space goes unused. As comedian Brian Regan said, all refrigerators keep food cold, though the way he said it was much funnier.
As the British proverb says, "enough is as good as a feast."
And despite our existing, fantastic wealth, how often do we still yearn for more?
How much of our lives do we spend working for more?
How consumed are our minds in seeking out ways to get more?
How often do we fail to give to those truly in need because we want more for ourselves?
The holiday we refer to as Thanksgiving is recently past, but we should continually strive to be more thankful to God for all the amazing blessings He has given us, both materially and, of far greater value, spiritually. And this gratitude should cause us to be generous to those in need.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His faithfulness is everlasting."
1 Chronicles 16:34