Thursday, June 29, 2017
The grandparents were telling the granddaughter about her cousins who were her age and had never owned an iPhone. This produced a puzzled look on her face with the question, “How do they live without an iPhone? We are living in a time when all “options” or “luxuries” are standard equipment! We think we can’t live without “our things.”
In 1953 we owned a 1948 Ford pickup truck and a 1946 four door Ford. Both with standard transmissions and nothing to cool us in Oklahoma’s 103 degree heat, except to manually roll the windows down. The Packard was the first car with air conditioning in 1940, but who could afford an extra $274? The 1940 Oldsmobile sported “Hydra-Matic,” the first automatic transmission. My step-dad’s disdain for such was, “If you’re too lazy to shift the transmission, you don’t need to drive.” We were beginning the accumulation of “our things.”
In today’s world, such stories are difficult for our grandchildren to grasp. To them we appeared to be living in hopeless poverty because you didn’t have the latest Nintendo or Xbox games, new phones, or the latest Reebok shoes on the block. The last generation’s options was now the present one’s necessities!
People wallow in their “options,” moaning because someone else has more, and few give thanks to God for what they have! It is not a sin to have three cars and a double cab pickup in one’s four car garage. Neither is it sinful to own a vacation house on the lake or in the mountains. It is wrong only if we forget the One who actually owns “these things.” It is sinful if we brag about what we have accumulated and leave God out of the picture.
One day your strength will fail you. You will know you are dying. All “your things” will neither comfort nor accompany you as you travel through “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4). Nothing you have can stop aging and the ravages of time. God’s announcement, “It is appointed for men to die once,” will knock at your door. Your “things” will not save you (Hebrews 9:27)! The only thing that will matter, as you face eternity, is: “Did I have the right relationship with God?”
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NKJV).