I was tempted to eat ‘fulkas’ (thin, fluffy chapattis) at Ajanta in Karama last night. I’ve been frequenting the place since many years (back in those days it used to have a ‘worn-out look’ but now it is refurbed!). The Gujju restaurant has been a family run business from the time I’ve known it (over 20 yrs. now!). ‘Ben’ (sister) was sitting outside on a chair playing with someone’s baby while they ate inside and ‘bhai’ (brother) was feeding a child a ‘moti-chur laddoo’ while the parents were having their ‘thali’ (set meal … unlimited! The Gujjus still serve them! God bless them!)
The moment I sat down, the waiter placed a thali in front of me without me having to ask them. Although they’d stopped making the fulkas (it was past 10 pm), the cook who was cleaning up the kitchen went straight to the kneading table and made fresh chapattis for me. ‘Bhai’ started poking fun at me about an additional 3 dirhams fine if I left any food behind in my plate and there were smiles all around. He spoke to others in the restaurant too. All in all, the atmosphere was very cordial and cheerful. And of course the hospitality is very much like Goa … even when you say ‘enough’, more food is sure to be thrust into your plate! Sometimes I ask for a small piece of a broken ‘jilebi’ and they force me to take a whole one!
The owners are happy. The workers appear to be joyful. This restaurant always has people and prospers to this day! (… And they don’t even know Christ!)
As Christians, how prosperous is your life? How do you measure prosperity? My dictionary defines it as the state of being successful. The writer of Psalm 1 says about the believer who delights in reading and reflecting on God’s Word, “Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)
Two lines earlier in the Psalm, the believer is described as a tree planted by a constant water supply (God’s Word is the living water) and says about us, “which yields its fruit in season.” (vs. 3)
What is this fruit which is produced in a believer’s life that makes us successful (prosperous)? Jesus said in a similar comparison, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Notice two things:
Our life is only fruitful if we are connected to the vine, to Jesus. He through the Word of God energizes and guides us in fruitful living. We will bear much fruit.
What is the fruit that will bring blessings into our life? The Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
Does it strike you that a fruitful life in Christ has a lot more to do with who we are as individuals in Christ than what we do? A truly prosperous life isn’t measure in the amount of money earned or saved. A successful life before God is much more focused on the believer having qualities that display our God no matter what the outward markings of life.
Have you gotten swayed into a worldly thinking about a prosperous life?
Do you spend more time counting and calculating your money than considering your growth in self-control or patience? Remember Jesus forgives.
Feed by the waters of life and connected to Jesus, we live a new life with a whole new definition of successful living. It does bring us joy and love into our lives.
Have a prosperous day!