Monday, October 25, 1999

What Money Can't Buy

Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:24-25)

For those with great aspirations to be wealthy, this is a tough verse to read. We all know it is a physical impossibility for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. Hence, is it equally or more impossible for someone that is wealthy to make it to heaven? I'll answer that question with a personal testimony.

Throughout my life, I've been blessed. I have great family and friends. I live in a nice home, have a good job, and drive a nice car (granted it's getting pretty old). Frankly, if there's anything I want or desire, I simply go out and buy it.

But the picture I paint about my life isn't as rosy as it sounds. For so many years, my main concern was me. I had to be the best and have the best. If I didn't score the most points, bat 4th in the line-up, wear the best clothes, or have the highest grade point average, I had big problems. To be honest, I'd still be on that road today if the Lord didn't completely humble me a few years back. In a very short period of time, I lost my appearance, my job, my girlfriend, and my will to live. All gone in a matter of months. I quickly realized that fame and fortune did not buy happiness and they could not stop the downward spiral I was on.

At that lowest point, I said to the Lord, "this is now your life to live, for I no longer have the strength to live it." At that time, everything gradually began to change. My focus was no longer me, but Christ. With Christ at the center, other people actually began to matter. Sure I've always loved my family and friends, but I now had a deep concern for even those I disliked.

This past week, I saw a friend at the gym I haven't seen in quite sometime. He's a friend whose family and mine have a troubled past. I started telling him about the joys of my life: I was engaged, getting married, etc. But I could see the pain in his eyes and I stopped. He told me he and his girlfriend of 2 years had broken up. Within 2 weeks, she had started dating again, and it has placed him into a deep depression for the past 4 months. I told him the above story I just shared of my own history. The tears welled up in my eyes as I told it, for I could see him now in that same place I was in just a few short years ago. But those tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy as he told me that he has developed a strong relationship with Christ; stronger than it has ever been before. I knew then that he was in good hands; the very hands that carried me.