Losing the Most Important

Text: Luke 9:25
What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? (NRSV)

One of my greatest regrets is missing my daughters growing up.  In fact, I have tears in my eyes now as I write this.  When I followed my call to ministry, our children were 5 and 2.  I had to continue to work full-time and go to school in the evenings in order to get my education for ordination.  By the time I was in seminary, I was working 30 hours a week as a service technician, putting in 10 hours or so as the assistant pastor of a large United Methodist Church, and taking 6 master level classes a semester.  I would literally get up before the kids to leave the house and not get home until long after they were already in bed.  We would see each other on weekends, but that was about it.  I gained my master’s degree and my ordination as I followed what I do believe was God’s call on my life, but I forfeited watching my kids grow up and probably a much better relationship with them.  By the time I completed my education and settled into a lifestyle that would allow me to spend time with my children, they were 18 and 15.

I think this is sort of what Jesus is saying here.  What good does it do any of us to gain the riches of this world if it costs us a relationship with God and others.  If we put all our time and effort into the things of this life which will eventually rust, rot, or fall apart and miss growing in our relationship with God and one another, we have missed the entire point of life.  We will have lost out on the very reason we were created, and what a horrible waist that would be.  It profits us nothing and costs us everything.

What are your priorities?  What eternal things are you sacrificing for things that do not last?  What will you gain at the expense of what you are losing?

Let us pray:

God of love and God of eternal value remind me of the beauty of the simple things in life.  Help me to realize that gaining the “world” is not worth the loss of the relationships I am sacrificing for the clutter of things that will rust, rot, and fall apart.  AMEN.

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