Our well went dry. We had to move. - Pastor Paul Leavens
When my wife, Luana, and I had to moved because our well went dry, we discovered the surprising value of the humble cardboard box. We live pretty simply, but over the years we have accumulated a lot of books, decorations, and keepsakes. Faced with a mountain of stuff to move, we didn’t have to searched for free cardboard boxes. Ted Owens gave us a lots of cardboard boxes. God bless Ted Owens.
On moving day the cardboard boxes fit snuggly in the back of Luana’s truck. We made many tripes back and forth. You’ve heard the expression “easy come, easy go,” but on moving weekend the operative word was not easy. I actually lost three ponds the week we moved. I do not like moving all my possessions. You always break something, and can’t find anything after you move. Nothings in the right place.
A Vanishing Mist
Jesus reminded us, "Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions" (Luke 12:15). Life's greatest treasures can't be stored in a cardboard box or even in a safe at the bank. That's why the book of James lays out frank advice about our plans and priorities.
Plans change; stay flexible.
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow" (James 4:13, 14). Senator Everett Dirksen quipped, "I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times."
Time flies; use it wisely.
"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that'" (vv. 14, 15). Life is like a morning fog that quickly melts away as the sun rises higher in the sky. If someone gave you $613,000, how would you spend it? If you live to be 70 years old, God gives you more than 613,000 hours how will you invest that priceless gift?
Overconfidence leads to failure; be humble.
"As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil" (v. 16). Our arms are designed to reach out and serve, not to pat ourselves on the back. Why brag about big plans that may not come to pass at all? On the day we die, what we believe will matter more than what we achieved. Instead of asking, "How much can we accumulate for ourselves?" we should ask, "How much fruit can we bear for God?"
Opportunities are precious; make the most of them.
"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them" (v.17).
We have successfully moved our stuff. Luana and I are adjusting to our new surroundings. Now if we can just figure out what to do with all our stuff in those boxes. Hope someday they we all be empty boxes.
How are you currently investing your life in eternally significant things?
Pastor Paul Leavens - Minister - Christian Church in Lindsay