You Can’t Take It With You
I recently read the true account of a very wealthy man that passed away in Chicago. After his passing, his family buried him sitting behind the wheel of his gold-plated Cadillac. After the elaborate funeral service was over and the grave-diggers arrived to fill the pit, one man stared at the deceased man sitting in the Cadillac and said, “Man! That’s livin’.”
It should go without saying, but that is the complete opposite of living! In fact, it’s a tragedy that this man spent his life investing in what he could not take with him at the end of his life. It’s also a waste of a beautiful gold-plated Cadillac!
This reminds me of the parable that Jesus told of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. A man spent his entire life accumulating possessions and storing up an abundance of crops for himself. Upon reflection, he said to himself, “‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’”
This also reminds me of the nature of our lives on earth. James 4:14 says, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Our life truly is fragile and temporary. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. In a second, our world can be shattered with an unexpected phone call, a heartbreaking doctor’s visit, a car accident, or tragedy. James says we are like a mist or a vapor that is here one second and gone the next. This means we are not guaranteed to wake up tomorrow morning.
According to these verses, it matters significantly how we spend the time we do have on this Earth. Where are we spending our hours? On what are we spending our efforts and our money? The temptation for us is to live for, focus on, and invest in what is temporary instead of on Jesus and what is eternal.
May our Heavenly Father graciously expose the things in your heart and mine that distract us from what really matters.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19-21