It was quite a small town where everybody knew about everybody’s business. They were popular because their parents were an elderly couple. Some thought of ‘Red’ as a weird hunter because he was always seeking new adventures in the outdoors. His younger twin brother, ‘Slick’ was the quiet type, usually unpredictable, and loved hanging around the house.
After an unusually long day in the field, Red walked into the house to find Slick cooking a delicious red stew. (There was talk around town that, that was his favorite and probably got his name that way). Being very hungry he asked Slick for some of his food.
Slick noticing his weakness and vulnerability decided this was the perfect time to bargain for what he’d been longing for. First, to test the waters he probed, “how hungry are you? How bad do you want this food?” Red retorted, “I am famished and about to die”, clearly exaggerating his need.
Seizing the opportunity, Slick demanded, “Give me your rights as the eldest son and you can have all the food you want”.
In a culture where the birthright was regarded as an important part of the family legacy, this was a risky proposition. This birthright was a rightful claim to the entire family estate. It was the entitlement of the firstborn son to be linked to future greatness. This is what Slick, the youngest of the twin, was asking for.
Without much thought, Red summarily bartered away his birthright for a single meal of bread and red stew.
Obviously his unrelenting gastronomic alarm resoundingly overshadowed his good judgment. In a twinkle of an eye, the deal was sealed. What an exchange!
Red cared very little for his birthright. He showed contempt for such a pricey position. He did not value what he had. He set more value on one meal than his birthright. And Slick knew it. Selling out for so little, he thoughtlessly traded a more valuable possession.
Every time I think about this sad story, I’m forced to ask myself what I’m selling for a single meal of ‘bread and red stew?’
David Roper interjects,
“There are those who know that life is bounded by realities beyond their grasp, who turn upward to God, who love first things first and secondary things second, and who waste no affection on those things that should not be loved at all. And there are those who turn downward to gratify their primal and sensual drives – who grab and glut – who find themselves lost in their love for their toys and lesser joys.” They are poor creatures absorbed in their poor loves, selling out for secondary causes.”
Could it be the elusive call for the “good life”? The allure of power, wealth, prestige, titles, applause? Could it be the seduction of a casual fling, an ‘afternoon delight’ of tarnishing someone’s reputation in a gossip . . . . .
. . . minimum wage for every hour, six figures, just trying to pay the bills . .
. . . . a bartering of God’s riches for a single meal?
So, what’s your price?