Are you so "busy here and there" that you are neglecting you soul?
Jesus described a rich farmer who did exceedingly well in Luke 12:15-21. The farmer tore down his barns or grain bins to build larger ones. He thought that he had everything taken care of for years to come, but he died that night! There are many like him in the world today (and sadly, there are many like him in the church also). Their focus is on the material things of the world. Their goal is to save up enough property, stocks, and bonds that they can retire to a life of ease. Some neglect the Lord's work and the needs of the church just so they can hoard away money for their future. That is certainly their choice to make, but God will make them answer for their stewardship one day.
There are many who remind me of the runner in a Russian fable that Tolstoy wrote about. A certain king promised a runner all the land he could run around from sunup till sundown. He started at the first sight of the sun in the east and ran until noon. Beyond he saw a beautiful lake and a deep forest. "I must have those," he said. So he ran on and on, and then, with the sun on the decline, started back to the golden stake from which he started. His friends had gathered to see him come in. He approached from a distance with the sun sinking fast. As the rim of the sun disappears, the people cheer as he takes his last step and taps the golden stake. All the fine land, streams, lakes, forests, hills, and valleys--all are his! He has reached the pinnacle of success. As he struggles to catch his breath, he clutches his chest, and suddenly falls over dead. He gained it all but lost his life. What did he really gain?
Now I know what you're thinking--how foolish! Why didn't he just run around an area of land that wasn't so big? He shouldn't have been so greedy! He shouldn't have pushed himself to the point of death. But, before you get too critical of that runner, make sure you look at your own life. What are you trying to accomplish here on Earth? Are you focusing on accumulating money, possessions, power, and honor? If so, what about important spiritual opportunities? Are you too busy for them? What about your family? Are you too busy for them? What about your brothers and sisters in the church? Are you too busy for them? And what about your soul? Are you too busy to prepare yourself for eternity? It is easy to see the foolishness of that runner, but often it is much more difficult to see our own stupidity. May we search our hearts and strive to be busy with the things that are really important! May we remember always that life on Earth is very brief--like a vapor (cf. James 4:14). Let's be busy doing what matters; let's not waste all our precious, God-given time on unimportant matters.
Dear listeners, are you too busy for heaven? I certainly hope not. If you need to make some changes in your priorities and how you spend your time, why not do so today? And if you're having trouble determining whether something is urgent or whether it is really important, let me offer this advice: Ask yourself this question--Will it make any difference 100 years from now? If the matter is urgent, but unimportant, it won't matter 100 years from now if you didn't get it accomplished. However, if the matter is genuinely important, it will make a difference 100 years from now whether you got it accomplished or not. Making sure your life is right with God will matter 100 years from now.
Friends, I freely confess that many of the points in this series are directed to me. It is too easy to get "busy here and there" and allow the most important things to be delayed or completely ignored. May it never be so with you! If you need to make changes in these areas, do so today.