Marinor, how did it come to this?

Mathew, there is no time for regret. We must finish readying your possessions for sale. Remember, you must sell all you own before the sun sets. There is much to do.

But Marinor, I worked hard to earn my wealth. If I did it once, I can do it again. Success is still within me.

Mathew, there is no shame in being poor. You have friends and family nearby. They will see you through. Besides, success brought you to this day. The Teacher warned you. Do you remember?

Yes. I was on my way to ship goods across the sea. There was a crowd around him, and I stopped to watch. He spoke as one with wisdom. His eyes fixed upon me as if he expected my arrival. I called to him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to attain eternal life?” He responded, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God. And then he told me to keep the commandments, which of course, I had done and still do.”

Yes, Mathew and one final thing, also. Remember?

But I couldn’t, Marinor. I could not sell all I owned and give it away, especially to the poor. There was too much, and besides, the poor would squander it and still be poor. What good would that do? And follow him? I’ve never followed anyone.

Success has blinded you, Mathew. You were sorrowful that day because you could not earn eternity. Today, you are sad because you must sell all you own by order of the Magistrate. Success has not served you, has it?

I suppose you are right. I should have lived a life of thanks, but I thought a life of earning better.

And thanks is in giving, isn’t it?

The Teacher offered me the way and I could not see because of my pride. I was sad that day. Today, I despair. My journey gets me to nowhere all because I thought I could...no, I knew I could. The Teacher offered me treasure in heaven. And now, all I shall receive is six feet, a pauper in a pauper’s grave. I came close to God that day and did not understand. Now, I am so far away. Every man lives his consequence.

And some live other men’s consequences.

Ahh, maybe you are not so blind and not so far. Maybe now you see. All may not be lost, Mathew.

It sure feels like being lost. Only now do I fear and tremble. Marinor, do you think if I found the Teacher, he would take me in?

You fear and tremble at your loss when you should fear and tremble before God. He works in you, Mathew. Act as so. Isn’t treasure in heaven a far better reward than treasure on earth? Isn’t living life in thanks to God better than a prison of possessions?

You will not always belong to the day.

Remember His words —” What is that to thee? Follow thou me.”

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for some 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Please visit his blog at deckcheatham.com. Email him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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