Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Read: Genes 12: 1-3, Exodus 3
                         There are number of gadgets and products that have revolutionized human life and today we can't think of how to survive without them. Microsoft products are an apt example in this case. What would be our life, our work and our business if we did not have Microsoft Office?. The various application of Microsoft like Office, Excel, Power Point and Outlook have totally revolutionized the way we work. The credit for  making Microsoft a world class, easily accessible and user friendly goes to its co founder Bill Gates. Bill Gates has been a man who has been phenomenally popular because of his organization Microsoft. But during the last decade Bill Gates began to be known not only as the co founder of Microsoft but someone who is genuinely interested in alleviating different issues that common people face in the world. He dropped a bombshell last week when he made a statement in the press, and which was reported worldwide "I have no use for money now". When people heard this statement, their jaws dropped. No need of money?. Is this man crazy?. Here are brothers fighting against another brother, to become richer, a family waging war against another family to get a better share in their ancestral inheritance, you have spouses who feel that it is better to spend more time in work than among themselves so that their financial woes would end. In a world where some people would do anything to get little more rich, how can Bill Gates proclaim that he does not need any more money?. This statement surprised me also and hence decided to get behind the facts.  It  is reported that Bill Gates with an estimated wealth of $65 billion is as rich as two Kenyas and three Trinidads. Now he is in the process of getting rid of all his money. Why has he come to the stage of life when he wants to get rid of his money?.  With all his estimated wealth, Gates  seems to be a restless man. Even as he worked to bring Microsoft to world class level and as he multiplied his riches, the thought that came to him and his wife Melinda was how to give back to the world, that gave them so much. That is how Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was started. Over the years both Gates and Melinda have give away more than $28 billion for various charitable projects The quest to make a difference in the lives of the common people who suffers, discriminated and to provide the common man with  those basic necessities in  life is something that Gates envisioned. Gates feels that he is well taken care of in terms of food and clothes. Thus for him money has no utility value beyond a certain point and now he has reached a stage in life where money as such has no big value in his life.. . Today both Gates and Melinda focus in life is to  help the poorest of the poor and it is this focus that has driven him not only to give away his riches but also start his new humanitarian project of eradicating polio. Here is Bill Gates bringing a new perspective to so many different aspect of human life. What should be the goal of human life, how can we wisely use our wealth, why is wealth given to us, what is our responsibility to the less fortunate ones, how do we repay to those who provided us all are some of the questions whose answers can be found through the life and mission of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. It is in such  a context that we also need to look at the Word of God to see how the teaching of our Lord are so pertinent in answering the above questions that Bill Gates is answering in terms of his commitment to his humanitarian projects.
                       In Genesis 12 and Exodus 3, we find God's calling on two individuals. God calls Abraham and Moses in two different circumstances. In Genesis 12: 1-3, we find the calling of Abraham. Along with the calling of Abraham God also gives Abraham a blessing. God tells Abraham that He is going to make him a great nation, make his name great and he will be a blessing. But when God blesses Abraham he blesses him with a condition. This condition is found in v: 3. According to the condition of God, the people of the earth will be blessed by the blessing given to Abraham. Here is God telling Abraham that the reason of God blessing Abraham is that he should be a blessing to others. In the same way in Exodus 3, when God tells Moses that he has heard the cry of Israelites and he wants Moses to go back to Pharaoh and deliver his people, I believe God is telling Moses that you were very fortunate to spend your early years in the palace of the Pharaoh, getting the best of everything. Food, dress, knowledge and all the privileges that  life could afford, while your own brothers slogged in the sun, bearing the cruel lashes of the Egyptian task masters. Now it the turn of Moses to repay his brothers who suffered while he enjoyed his life. He is supposed to use all his expertise, his good will, his knowledge for the liberation of the Israelite people. Thus through the life of Abraham and Moses, God teaches us some valuable lessons of life in terms of how we are supposed to use the blessing that God has blessed us with. Some of us have been blessed with good jobs, some with sound  financial security, some with good knowledge and other educational degrees. Whatever be the blessing that we are blessed with, I believe God has given us this blessing not as something that we could boast about and use it for our own selfish purpose, but to use those blessing as a channel of liberation and empowerment of those common people whose lives could be transformed through our sharing of those blessing that God has given to us. It is tragic that we live in a world where majority of Christians think that the blessing that God has given to them is meant only for their exclusive use. But let us bring corrections and changes in our life so that each one of us could use the blessing that the Lord has blessed us with, with the objective in life that I will repay my society, my country or my fellow brothers and sisters so that their life is also blessed. It is when each one of us can refocus our objective of life in this way, will we have more and more of Bill Gates in the world. Are you another Bill Gates in the making?