How Much Land Does a Man Need?

The Lord spoke this parable: “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” As He said this, Jesus called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” St. Luke. (12:16-21)

This man did not include God in his plans whatsoever. He is self absorbed just count the number of times “I,” “my” and “myself” are repeated over and over again in these few short verses! In verses 17 and 18 alone, these words appear at least nine times.

God is nowhere and mean’s nothing to this man. The man wants to be in complete control, and does not reflect any trust in God. He is distracted by what he thinks are his possessions.

The farmer gave no thought to the needs of others. He was thinking only of himself. He had no regard for God, and he had no regard for God’s will which is to love God and his neighbor. He had no desire to share his abundance with anyone. All of this abundance was his and he was in control.

Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything. One day he received a novel offer. For a small sum, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day. The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown.

Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point. He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run; knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost.

As the sun began to set, he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, his heart pounding, he called upon every bit of strength left in his body and staggered across the line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed and died.

Afterwards, his friends dug a grave. It was six feet long and three feet wide. The title of Tolstoy’s story was: “How Much Land Does a Man Need?”

We must remember that everything we have is from God and is God’s gift to us.


1 Comment

Filed under Orthodox Christianity, Scripture Rumination, Sundays, Feast Days, Other Days

One response to “How Much Land Does a Man Need?

  1. Pupacios

    A great parable and a beautiful painting by the way!

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