There once lived a young woman who had it all. She was beautiful. In fact, her beauty was what poets write about. Even though some of the most well-known poems about the loveliness of a woman were penned long before she was born, they seemed to be all about her. She knew it, too. Others often told her and so she simply believed it.
She was very popular in school. She was voted class president every year. If the school needed a representative for anything, she was automatically chosen. Of course, she was picked as Homecoming Queen, Prom Queen, Red Beet Queen and many other queens. She didn’t have the official title, but she was the Queen of Everything.
Poised and articulate, she never appeared nervous or unsure. She knew the right thing to say at just the right moment. It may not be the bravest or the truest thing to say, but it made the hearer feel like they were given the privilege of being in her presence. Even when they ended up doing something opposite of what they wanted, they were happy to serve.
She sang like a song bird. Her voice could bring grown men to tears. It sounded so sincere. She could manufacture what seemed like true emotion at just the right moments. She not only carried a tune well, she brought it up and raised it to levels of perfection seldom heard in one so young.
She was also given awards for academics. In fact, she won just about every award possible, including a few she didn’t really deserve. But, of course, like everyone else, she thought she deserved them all.
There was just one thing. She forgot to be thankful. It’s understandable. She wasn’t brought up that way. From the time she was a baby, her parents knew she was special and treated her that way. They taught her to expect the best in life. They did their best to give it to her. She did her best to receive it. She even learned how to feign humility. Her mom said it was the ladylike thing to do.
She became a star lawyer who took only the most prestigious cases, winning time and time again. Other lawyers believed that she couldn’t lose. She became famous. Even more famous than the clients she represented.
She owned the best of everything. Homes, cars, a yacht. She had it all. She even gave money to her church. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t graced the inside of a church for years. She left that behind when she left her hometown. Still, she kept many church programs afloat with her generosity. It was a good tax write off.
She was living the deluxe version of the American Dream. She had it all. But one day, she realized that having it all wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. A little crack appeared in the perfect armour, which was her life. It started with a thought. “Isn’t there more?” She shook that thought right out of her head. More? How could there be more? She had it all, after all.
But as happens with small cracks, they grow into larger cracks.
One night she was sitting home alone. It was the first one she bought. More modest than the rest, it had a certain charm. This is where she kept family heirlooms. Oh, not the expensive jewelry or paintings. Even though she had those. But little things from her grandparents and great-grandparents. Trinkets, really. Not worth much money, but they brought back memories.
Her grandmother’s Bible sat on an expensive end table. It was worn from many years of use. She remembered Grandma reading Bible stories to her. Grandma loved to talk about Jesus.
Smiling, she picked up the Bible and opened it to a page that was bookmarked. It was Luke 18:18-30. In her own handwriting, Grandma had written her granddaughter’s name. It was the story of the Rich Young Ruler. It was the young woman’s story. For the first time, the young woman examined her life and it came up lacking.
Grandma really had nothing material, yet she was always filled with such joy. Suddenly, the young woman wanted that same joy. As she read the Bible late into the night, she read the verses Grandma highlighted. She read her personal notes. She realized what she lacked. And when the sun rose that next morning, the rich young woman who’d been the ruler of her own universe, humbly bowed down to the Son of God and asked Jesus to be the Lord of her life.
Now, she truly had it all.
Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.