“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15
“There’s a-plenty!” It was one of my grandmother’s favorite expressions. Although my grandparents lived about an hour away in another town, because my dad was involved in the family business he would go there at least once a week. So, during the summer months when school was out I would often go with him and spend the day with my grandparents while he tended to business. On those days when we came to town my grandmother would cook an enormous lunch usually consisting of what appeared to be a mountain of delicious fried chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, and all sorts of fresh vegetables grown in her garden. Then without fail after we all had our fill she would pass around the platter of chicken one more time along with her favorite expression, “Go ahead, take some more. There’s a-plenty!” And to this very day my brother and I can hardly have a meal together, even so much as a hamburger, without one of us bringing up our grandmother’s memorable quote. “Go ahead, have some more French fries,” one of us will inevitably say. “There’s a-plenty!”
A-plenty was a good description of my grandmother who was a woman of means. She lived in a big house with lots of stuff, a nice plot of land from which grew a bountiful harvest of vegetables, plus hens that produced lots of eggs and cows for milk and butter. My grandmother wanted for little, but neither was she in love with her possessions. If anything she seemed intent on giving away – especially to the needy – rather than acquiring more. During those summertime luncheon feasts I can remember her handing out plates-full of food out her back door to hobos and transients who wandered down her back alley. And toward the end of her life she expressed practically no emotion in giving away or liquidating what remained of her possessions. If asked I suspect she would have described herself as a steward appointed to oversee God’s possessions rather than the owner of them.
“A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Isn’t it amazing that for those who are generous rather than greedy there always seems to be “a-plenty”!