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Day 6: Tomorrow is not a promise

by on March 14, 2011

I just finished watching that 6 minute video of the small city of Kesennuma, Japan  getting swept away by the deluge caused by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami.  Crazy stuff.  As we were watching it, there was a shot in there where what looked like a small convenience store  was quickly filling with sea water.  If you were standing in the doorway, you would be about chest to neck high (depending on how tall you are) in water.  A few minutes later, the same building gets swept “upstream”, along with cars, boats, dumpsters, and a bunch of other debris.

When I read the Bible to Emmett tonight, we happened upon Luke 12:13-34

Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We work our whole lives towards attaining a goal.  Depending on your values and/or skills, those goals can be vast and varied.  We can strive to have a large family, a big house, a nice car, a successful career, a high paying job, multiple advanced degrees, to have traveled the world, as well as many other pursuits in life.  Anything that we do in life is likely to serve another end.  I’m sure whoever owned the convenience store in Kesennuma had worked very hard to be able to get the space and have a successful business.  We must realize, as Jesus is telling His disciples, that all of this will be for naught.

All of our pursuits to solidify our position in this world will eventually be turned into dust.  As is demonstrated by the destruction that is being wrought in Japan right now, we can’t even be sure that there will be a tomorrow for us.  (A colleague of Christina’s found an article that says that California is due for a major earthquake of similar magnitude within the next 30 years.)

The solution that Jesus offers to His disciples (and subsequently, to us) is to stop living as if there is a tomorrow.  We need to stop thinking about whether or not there will be food, clothing and housing tomorrow.  We need to trust that God loves us enough to provide those things for us.  We need to plan for eternity; to live our lives as if Jesus were coming back to tell us that our “soul is required of us.”

To be sure, a very difficult challenge when we live in a culture and society that values the dust so much.

 

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From → Lent

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