One of the books that I’m reading is Tom Morris’s, “The Oasis Within: A Journey of Preparation” and he uses the uncle in the book to tell the following story:

“Let me then tell you about a man who sought treasure his whole life – gold, silver, other precious metals, and jewels, as well as swords made by master craftsmen, ornate knives, and delicate, expensive artifacts like vases and beautiful small statues. He would go out in the world and do whatever it took to acquire such things, then bring them home and store them in an attic room over where he slept, to keep it all safe, and so he could be near his treasure.

“As he brought additional valuables home and put them in the attic, the floorboards would creak and groan loudly with the weight. But he continued to want more, and still more, and he worked hard to get it.”

Walid said, “I’m not surprised. Gold and silver are rare, and good to have. So is all the other stuff.” He was listening intently.

“You’re right. They can be very good. But this man never used any of his treasure to do productive things in the world. It wasn’t even readily available for daily viewing and enjoyment. He just accumulated more, and stashed it in the attic. One night while he was asleep, the total weight of it all made the floor above him collapse, and he was crushed to death by the precious items he had amassed.”

“What a terrible thing!”

“Yes. It was sad. The treasure that could have done great good in the right hands, instead did him grievous harm. If he had used it well, and not just piled it up, if he had acted differently, then the outcome would have been quite different.”

I love the reminder from this story that we all have resources (perhaps not gold and silver) that are designed to be used, not stashed away.