My book, Jesus, a Life, published three weeks ago, is suddenly not available for purchase—at least for a few more days. My friends at Amazon are making minor repairs. Apparently, personal computers and corporate computers don’t always communicate. The problem was pretty simple. It was a case of over-hyphenation! Words, which were properly hyphenated at the end of a line, sud-denly ap-peared as hy-phenated words in the mid-dle of lines. How an-noying! However, I’m pleased to say all will be well in several days or so when the book again will be available.
I wish to thank the 29,035 people who bought a copy of Jesus, a Life. Oops, that’s the height in feet of Mt. Everest. I am deeply grateful to the nearly 60 people who bought copies in the three weeks since my book was published. I’m in a good mood, and benevolent forces in the universe have made it possible for me to make this offer: If you already purchased a copy of Jesus, a Life, I’d like to send you (at no cost to you) a free copy of the repaired version. However, in most cases I don’t know who you are or where to send it. So, if you’d like a second book, absolutely free, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook or call me at 616-828-2293. All I ask is that you let me know, in a word or two, what you think of the book.
Speaking of hyphens, an elongated one is called a dash. A dash is the line that separates the year of birth from the year of death—it’s the life we live. Jesus tells a story about a rich farmer who built bigger barns to store all his surplus. Here’s an excerpt from Jesus, a Life.
“But God said to the rich man, ‘You’re such a fool! Your life will end tonight, and who will benefit from all the things you’ve kept for yourself?’ That’s what it will be like for those who hoard treasures on earth but aren’t rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)
God calls the rich man a fool, but there are many names he isn’t called. He isn’t called a crook, a scoundrel, or a thief. He isn’t called a liar, a scam artist, or a cheat. He isn’t guilty of bilking senior citizens out of their nest eggs. He isn’t accused of shredding documents before a pending IRS audit. God doesn’t call him a bad man or an evil man, just a foolish man. His grave marker says it all: He had lots of stuff. He built big barns. His harvests were awesome. He knew how to spend. So much potential. So many opportunities. So little to show for it in the end.
The story begs a few questions: What people-investments did he make? Did he work to alleviate suffering? Were other lives better off because of him? Did he ever stop to think of the “have-nots” in his corner of the world, and what he could do to assist them?
If this were merely an ancient tale, we could easily forget about it and move on. However, it speaks to us today, prompting some personal inventory. For what will I be remembered? Whose life was touched because I was here? What in this world will be better because I lived?
What relationships in your life are in need of more investment?