A long time ago I heard this illustration. A man described how he and his family loved to play that capitalistic game Monopoly. He described how the emotions ran high around that table as buildings were bought and placed on the various properties. It really annoyed him when he landed on a space and had to pay the “Owner” of the given property or railroad line. He was extremely frustrated when he didn’t amass as much wealth or exceed the wealth of the other players. Still agitated at the end of the game he glumly put away the pieces of the game when it dawned on him, “This is just like real life.” Some people amass great amounts of wealth while others make do with very little. However at the end of one's life it all goes back into the box.
It’s true. Tomorrow I will go to a respected man’s funeral in Yakima. There will be no U-Haul attached to the hearse to accompany the coffin to the grave. The same way we came into the world is the way we leave it, with empty hands. This is aptly expressed in the Message Bible, “Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.”* It further enjoins us that Godliness with contentment is great gain. I am reflecting on the fact that our American culture promotes the getting of more as a sign of success. Is it? I am re examining my life. More and more I realize that my happiness is not bound to my things. I am going to remember that when my life is over all these things go back into the box.
P.S. All that stuff we buy called antiques are just a testament to the fact that you can’t take it with you.
*I Timothy 6:6-8