Have you ever heard The Parable of the Rich Fool? It is an ancient story Jesus once told.
A young man once asked Jesus to get involved in a personal matter and make his brother divide the family inheritance with him. In response, Jesus made a profound statement, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
Jesus laid his finger on the real issue with the young man. He loved the “stuff” of life too much.
Jesus illustrated his point with a story. He told about a wealthy farmer that had another tremendous harvest. As a result the farmer said to himself, “What am I going to do? What I have isn’t enough storage for my grain.” Then he decided, “I’ll tear down my existing barns and build larger ones, then I’ll be able to store all my grain and many other things. And after that, because the harvest was so great, I’ll have enough saved up for many years to relax, enjoy myself and have no worries.” But, in the midst of his reasoning, God spoke to him saying, “Fool! Tonight is your end and all that you’ve laid up in these barns, whose will they be?”
The story communicated that life is more than the possessions we own. Jesus effectively made the point by confronting the farmer with his own mortality. It would all stay behind when he would enter eternity.
My wife and I witnessed the devastating losses people faced following Hurricane Katrina while doing some relief work along the Gulf Coast. We saw families who lost everything. All their possessions were suddenly ripped away. As we talked to person after person, the disaster became a pivotal moment toward the real priorities in life.
Why wait to discover this when facing a crisis? Our stuff can sometimes become a distraction. As a result, we may live for today and neglect tomorrow, or in other words, live for what is important to us, rather than what is important to God.
Maybe we do not live for God because we do not know Him. The farmer got a wakeup call to who God was when God declared, “Tonight is your end.” Since He has power over life and death and the present and future we ought to heed His warning. Let us make knowing God through Jesus our highest priority and managing all our stuff, down the list a ways.
Here is a prayer for you. “Creator God – I am sorry I have made things more important than people. I am sorry I have put more trust in the things of this life, rather than you. Take my heart. Wash it clean of all my sin. Become the number one priority in my life. In Jesus name, amen.