"And he said to them, '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
Back in 2004 I attended the annual hot rod show in York for what they call the Street Rod Nationals. Although I have always had a great interest in cars I never got into hot rods. So this was a new experience for me. As I recall I had my son, David, along with me. It was a beautiful day and the cars were really quite impressive. As we looked over the cars slowly we began to talk about what we liked or didn't like. And as time went by, as many of the cars had "For Sale" signs on them we began to learn just how much money it would take to buy one of the cars that we liked. These fifteen years later I can only imagine that the prices have gone up since back then. But the "bottom line" was that we concluded it would take about $50,000 to buy what we thought we might like.
Later that same year, on December 26, 2004, a tsunami struck Indonesia and other coastal areas in that part of the world that made pretty much any other natural disaster that any of us have heard of seem minor in comparison. Somewhere between 190,000 and 250,000 people were killed. The death toll in Indonesia alone was 131,029. Learning of this disaster, the Mobilization (Missions) Director at the church put out a call for volunteers to travel to Indonesia to help with the clean up. At the same time a special collection was taken to help those in need.
Through the years, I have been intentionally kept in the dark in regards to knowing how much money any individuals give to the church. I have not desire to know and am happy not to know. But following that Sunday when we put out a request for financial help, I was told later that week that "one person donated $50,000." They didn't tell me who made the donation; to this day I don't know who gave that money. But 50 grand! That was the same amount of money David and I figured it would cost to buy a hot rod that we really liked. I thought about that. Whoever gave that money…well, maybe they wouldn't be interested in a hot rod. But there was likely SOMETHING that they would have really liked that $50,000 could buy. But instead they gave that money away. Maybe they were rich and $50,000 hardly phased them; then again, maybe they were not rich and that $50,000 constituted about everything they had in this world. I will never know.
Jesus warned his followers about being consumed with the things of this world. As we all know, these things don't ultimately satisfy. They may be enjoyable; they may put a smile on our face. I am sure David and I could have gotten a real "kick" out of driving some hot rod around town. But in the end, these things are just things. The Bible says, "The world passeth away and the lust thereof…" (1 John 2:17, KJV), meaning that nothing around us lasts: neither the things nor the desire for those things.
For you who have given generously to the work of Burning Hearts Community Church, THANK YOU! We have consciously tried to make certain those monies are well spent. Someday we will all give an account of not only how we used the money we had but how we used the whole of our lives. Owning a hot rod may be fine, but hopefully we have each invested in things far more eternal than a hot rod.