Monday, March 19, 2012

Collecting junk

Just about every morning I ride by our local junk yard on my way to work. As I ride by it seems like the piles of junk get higher and higher. Occasionally I can make out some of the junk as it rises above the fence that surrounds it. This morning I saw a car sitting on top of a pile of scrap metal. As I drove past I realized that at some point someone probably purchased that car brand new thinking it was the car of their dreams. As they wrote the check for several thousand dollars the thought that it would end up in a junk yard probably never crossed their mind.

Working with the homeless on Saturday mornings we see numerous people donating clothes. We see Ralph Lauren shirts, Brook Brothers coats, American Eagle jeans, Nike tennis shoes. Again, stuff that at the time the person buying it would have never thought that their item would end up in a trash can, a yard sale or a donation to a homeless person. Yet that is where just about everything we buy ends up. If you think about it even your most valued possessions will probably end up with someone you don't even know. Have you ever been to an estate sale?!?

Where am I going with this? I do have a point. There is a passage in the Bible that describes someone who seemed to have a difficult time with this concept. Take a look.
Luke 18: 18-27

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, 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.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
One of the first things you may be thinking is "This is for rich people and I am not rich." I beg to differ with you. If you make more than $10 a day you are considered wealthy in the eyes of the world. The common international poverty line has in the past been roughly $1 a day. In 2008, the World Bank came out with a revised figure of $1.25. Most of you reading this probably make more in a hour that many people make in a week.

I am not trying to lay a heavy on you. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. I am simply trying to communicate that instead of investing in stuff that will end up in a junk yard or rummage sale try investing in something that matters. Imagine if we invested the $100 we would typically spend on a new pair of sneakers with Children's Hunger Fund. Or the $50 we would spend on a pair of American Eagle jeans would do so much more at our local Christian bookstore as a donation for Bibles. Maybe we are looking at a new car and instead of going with the new model with all of the bells and whistles we could buy a used car and send $5,000 to Living Water International so they could drill a well in South America.
Luke 12: 48b - From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
We need to realize that our wealth and resources are a gift from God. We also need to understand that we might be comparing what we have or don't have with the wrong people. Don't compare what you have or don't have with the NBA star who is making millions or the CEO of a major corporation who is making money hand over fist. Take a look at the millions of people in Asia or India who are living off of $1 a day.

A day is coming when we will have to give an account for what we did with what we were given and I do not think ignorance for what goes on outside our sphere of influence will be a valid argument.

No comments:

Post a Comment