“What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world but lose his soul?”
Hannah was already in her nineties when I became her pastor. She was homebound so I stopped by with communion each month. Coffee was always ready and Hannah liked to remember the old days.
Just south of the small northwestern Minnesota town where we lived, an old log cabin struggled for survival in a grove of oaks and brush. Hannah was born in that cabin and spent her childhood there.
She once told me about the native Americans who came through the area each Spring, on their way from Minnesota to hunt in the Dakotas. They would stop for a few days and set up camp in the meadow near the old cabin, visiting and trading with her father and some of the other local farmers. Her parents and their guests also shared something else, their Christian faith.
During one visit I asked her the obvious question; ‘What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in your life time?’ I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe she would marvel at the space program, automobiles, the telephone, or running water at the very least. What was Hannah’s reply? “Not much has changed. People are still the same,” she said, her voice still carrying a Scandanavian edge.
I suppose I should have expected this kind of sober wisdom from a woman who grew up in a log cabin. Her life had been tuned to relationships and the Christian faith, not things. Gaining the world was not important to her. Her soul was.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”