By Michael Holland
A slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory is a decadent luxury on so many levels. It’s a pure dessert with deep, rich flavors assured to fully satisfy that craving for the sugar rush. It contains about 40% of the total calories we should eat in one day and the cost could fund a family dinner at home. Asking someone to share their slice of decadence brings raised eyebrows and hesitation as the owner reconciles their “this is all mine” mindset with the reality of how they will feel should they eat the whole slice themselves. They don’t want to share this excessive dessert.
In our lives as men and fathers, we strive to build a stronghold of assets, determined to be prepared to ward off all dangers and allow us the freedom to make choices for our family. Though these assets are stored away and closely watched, we never seem to be able to fill the gap we see between today and full safety. Yet compared to the world (and even most of the population in the USA) we have far more stuff and money and wealth and time than anyone else.
As David Platt of Radical fame helps us see, maybe God has given us more not so that we have more but in order to give more. We have excess so that we can give more to others. As in the Cheesecake Factory example, we need to share our riches.
What’s really terrifying – or exciting – is that as men and fathers, we have this tremendously deep treasure chest which we usually think of as only the assets and stuff. But the real value in the treasure chest is the experience we gained in pursing this stuff. Looking backward a season or two in life gives us perspective on what the pursuit cost us in time, energy, relationships, as well as what we gained in each of those areas.
We need to give. We need to give away our excesses. And maybe most importantly, we need to give away our excess of wisdom gained from life’s experiences. We need to pour ourselves into younger men who are a season or two behind us to give of whatever we have.