Psalm 49: 10 When we look at the wise, they die; fool and dolt perish together and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they named lands their own.
In these verses the psalmist is making a sobering observation. Everybody dies. Doesn’t matter if you’re wise or a fool, your days are numbered. And because this is true, all the material wealth people strive for, spend our lives accumulating, comes to nothing. We don’t get to keep it because our ultimate home is a grave. Jesus says something similar in Matthew 6:19:
““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal…”
I wrote in my blog post yesterday of my desire to savor life as it passes by more quickly these days. I’m realizing it’s important to be present today, enjoy simple blessings today, relish the gift of life today. Frankly I’m not sure how many more tomorrows I have left. The psalmist’s teaching for today is a good accompaniment to yesterday’s idea. Understanding my desire to focus on today the question remains – to what end? What exactly am I focused on today? It is something that matters?
This week I attended a monthly luncheon for pastors serving churches in my little suburb of Dallas. Our host was a young pastor (early 30s) who, after we’d finished eating, posed a question for discussion. Why are you still a pastor? As I looked around I realized the rest of us are older. I’ve been a pastor almost 21 years now. The others gathered around the table have served at least that long, mostly 30 years or more. I appreciated the young man’s question as it made me think.
When it was my turn to respond I said that I’m a pastor because I believe God called me to be one. Secondly I’m still a pastor because, as flawed as it may be, the Christian church remains an important vehicle through which God transforms persons and families via Jesus Christ. It transforms the Christian and potentially his/her entire family tree. It’s a work that lives on. Literally forever. This is very important to me.
But let me say you don’t have to be a pastor for this to be true. Our Lord needs people living out their Christian faith in everyday life far more than the Lord needs clergy. Clergy are few, but Christians are numerous. They imbed within every nook and cranny of our world, taking with them the power of the risen Jesus. In short, whatever you happen to do for a living, earning a living isn’t your primary purpose for being there – whether you realize this or not. The Lord has placed you there to bear witness to the power of Jesus to make all things new. Including you. Including your co-workers. Think about it.