SCRIPTURE: Luke 12:18 (RSV)
And he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
There is an old legend of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder and then inquired:
"Where do you come from?"
"I come from heaven!" replied the swan.
"And where is heaven?" asked the crane.
"Heaven!" said the swan, "Heaven! have you never heard of heaven?" And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made of precious stones; of the river of life, pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane. Finally the crane asked: "Are there any snails there?" "Snails!" repeated the swan; "no! Of course there are not." "Then," said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, "you can have your heaven. I want snails!"
Building bigger barns, hording more of the worldly goods, enjoying the pleasures that world has to offer … these are a few of our favorite things. They have a tangible value to our life or at least, they seem to add some value to our existence … and therein lays the problem.
When the “stuff” of life takes hold of our heart that which has lasting value is pushed to the sidelines. Winning is great and Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos experienced a tremendous victory yesterday in the Wild Card Playoffs. Mr. Tebow is driven to win. He puts his entire heart and mind to the task. He celebrates each victory like it is the best that has ever happened and yesterday, I was cheering with him during the entire journey. It might have something with being a Florida Gator. But when all is said and done, Tim knows and affirms that the only thing that really matters is his relationship with Jesus Christ. He would be most ready to give up all the winning and honors if it meant that he would sacrifice that special relationship. That relationship is the most important thing in his life, as it should be.
We can settle for the “snails” of life and forego heavens riches. We often do that by misplacing that which has value in our life. The swan knew it, Tim Tebow knows it, but do we know it?
Help to prioritize those things that we value in life and place our relationship with God above all “things” that the world has to offer. Amen.