For what are we living?
For what are we living?
A man had the good fortune and insight to take a chance with a credit card company in the Baltimore area several decades ago. He retired a wealthy, high ranking executive. In the course of his career, he put together a streak so impressive-35 years in which he never missed a day of work-that "Iron Man" Cal Ripken, Jr., wrote him a letter commending him for it. When he retired, the company gave him a classic car as well as many other lavish gifts. He had a great many benefits and perks, the admiration of peers and competitors, resort townhouses, and considerable wealth. But, one day very soon after he retired his life was dramatically changed after a visit to the doctor. He had an aggressive form of cancer. A few months later he was dead.
This is not a commentary on the morality or priorities of the man. I know nothing about either. His story points out that his well-laid plans and successful career could not forestall the inevitable end result common to every man.
It should also provoke a question. For what are we living? Is our identity tied to our career? Do we want to be known as the life of the party? Is it all about travel and adventure? Does life revolve around going to the river, campground, fishing hole, beach or mountains? Is it sports, shopping, spending or spirituality? Of necessity, all of us have a central focus. It is the thing that forms the bull's eye for which we repeatedly aim. Too many times, something becomes the thing in "first place" over Christianity. Colossians 1:18 reminds us Christ must come to have first place. When it comes to our jobs, Jesus must take first place. When it comes to our recreation, same thing. When it comes to relationships, He deserves primary position. Whatever we say or do, Jesus must be at the forefront.
He warns that we may invest in the wrong kind of treasure rather than the true riches (Matthew 6:19-21). He admonishes us to seek the kingdom first over "things" (Matthew 6:33). He warns against choosing family members over Himself (Matthew 10:37).
When life draws to a close, one will be confronted by the reality of what he or she made first place. Certainly, when we cross the sea of time to eternity, there will be no denying, rationalizing, debating or arguing what our "bull's eye" was. In our heart of hearts, however, we already know what is most important to us. It is what occupies the greatest amount of our interest, time, energy, emotion, resources and effort. It is the reason we live. The thing is, when we die, that for which we have lived will either help us live eternally or be the cause of our eternal death. Listen as Paul encourages us to "set your affection on things above and not on things of the earth" (Colossians 3:2). --Copied