None of us knows what any day of our life may bring. A few weeks ago our neighbour died suddenly. Friends noticed that his curtains had not been drawn and one, who had a key, went into the house and found he had died. We had been neighbours for nearly 20 years. His wife died just 18 months earlier and since then he had not been well and was lonely. They had no children. The house has been inherited by a nephew. He and his wife have been preparing the house to be sold. They have taken the more valuable things, but many things have been put into a skip on the driveway. It has been sad to see those personal possessions, which once had value for our neighbours, now discarded as of no worth.
Jesus once gave a warning to the people he was teaching. “Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.” We live in a materialistic society in which possessions are prized. We are bombarded by adverts telling us that if we buy certain things our lives will be enriched; the latest smart phone, a new car, electronic devices and designer clothes. But fashion is fickle and moves on. In a very short time all these things are out of date and are discarded.
One of the greatest blessings we can know is contentment. The apostle Paul wrote, “For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
Each one of us is infinitely more valuable than our possessions. We were created by God and have a wonderful capacity to relate personally to him. We are not simply the product of an evolutionary process, but are God’s special creation. We have both a body and a soul. When we die our bodies remain, but our souls pass into the presence of God. The life for which we were created can be experienced here on earth and continues into eternity, which is why it is so important to begin to think about it now. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and enjoy it to the full.”