THIS life’s adventures so captivate our hearts we feel as if this foray will last forever and ever. And, of course, it doesn’t! As I reflect over my life, and consider those things that compete with my attention for true worship, often winning, I think what a chump I am. But, of course, that’s not the end of things; it’s merely the start of another learning opportunity when it comes to worship.
Consider these powerful words lined up in a series adding up to life-giving wisdom:
“The reason there are so many broken hearts in this land, the reason there are so many disappointed people, is because they have been laying up their treasures down here.”
— Dwight Lyman Moody (1837–1899)
D.L. Moody, the great evangelist and publisher, tells a story that his Dr. Arnot used to tell: the worthlessness of gold.
Shipwrecked on a fantasy island, the people quickly found their pleasures sated in working for gold. They worked, they played, they ate, and made more and more money. Trouble was, they never sowed seed into the ground to grow more food; not until it was too late — as winter began to set in. They had all the gold in their world, but no food. They perished for the very thing that would keep them alive, even as they bathed in their gold — which, of course, was worthless now.
We think we’re doing well when we have our plans to attend our parties; when we’ve won the confidence of accrediting organisations and get our degrees; when we’ve sunk every waking thought into the sporting team we support; when we depose thought of bequeathing a gift to the poor for another lounge suite, technological device, car or holiday; when, finally, we’ve done our sixty-hour work week.
Then we’re captivated by a new thing; a final thing; an awful thing: death.
Death stares at us all our lives, and it’s never a scary staring. Death stares at us with a twinkle of wisdom in its eye: “Will you prepare for me; are you preparing for eternity?”
Or, are we working so hard to earn our gold that we’ve lost sight that we need to plant our seed so we can make something that will last?
Where are we laying our treasures up? Where do relationships feature? What about love? Are our children getting all of their mother and father? Are our parents getting sufficient of their daughter or son to be blessed? Are we sowing deeply into friendship; being a trustworthy carrier of others’ burdens? Finally, is Jesus getting the attention in our lives that he deserves?
A key to the majesty of joy heaven seeks to give us is giving the majesty of our attention to the joys of heaven.
If heaven has no allure, if heaven’s not our delight, how poor is our sight, and this life we’ll struggle to endure.
How must we get to heaven, and just how on earth are we to live, unless we join the dots, we’ll never learn it’s here that we must give.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.