The ‘Stuff’ of Eternity

30 Apr

A woman’s husband died. He had $20,000 to his name.

After paying all the funeral expenses, she told her closest friend that there was no money left.

The friend asked, “How can that be? You told me he had $20,000 a few days before he died. How could you be broke?”

Grandma's Checkbook

Grandma's Checkbook

The widow replied, “Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course, I had to make the obligatory donation to the church, pay the organist and all. That was $500, and I spent another $500 for the wake, the food and drinks, you know.

“The rest went for the memorial stone.”

The friend asked, “$12,500 for the memorial stone? Wow! How big was it?”

The widow replied with a smile:

                              “Three carats.” *

When I (Dawn) was a senior year in high school, I was a character actress with the “Hurrah Players”.

My favorite play was the wacky Kaufman and Hart comedy,  “You Can’t Take It with You,” a play about the choices we make in life. I played the part of the eccentric-but-happy former Russian Grand Duchess, Olga Katrina. About the only line I can remember is, “That manager. He doesn’t like me. He’s a Communist.”

But wise Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff had more memorable lines;  “Maybe it’ll stop you trying to be so desperate about making more money than you can ever use?,” he said. “You can’t take it with you, Mr. Kirby. So what good is it? As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends.”

Grandpa had it right. You can’t take money with you. You also can’t take your house or your prized possessions or your fancy wardrobe or your hobbies or …. you name it. As I’ve heard many times since I became a Christ-follower, “There are only two things that go into eternity… the Word of God and people.”

If we’re not careful about our focus, our value system is going to be skewed.

If the Word of God is our focus, we’ll begin to love the things God loves and hate what Three Women and BiblesHe hates. As we “seek first” God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and desire to bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31: Colossians 3:17), other things will fade in importance.

But remember, the second “eternal thing” is souls. If our focus is right, we will want to take as many people to heaven with us as we can.

I get so sidetracked on earth-bound  issues, and I forget this world is not all there is. Everyone will spend eternity somewhere. That needs to be the heartbeat behind more my activities. The Bible says that the person who “wins” souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30). And Jesus instructed His followers to make disciples everywhere, and to teach people to know and obey God (Matthew 28:19-20).

As you think about your life, consider this:  What is going to last? What can you take with you?

I like what Vernon Brewer of World Help says, “I live my life in such a way that every day I try to accomplish at least one thing that will outlive me and last for eternity.”  It’s a worthy goal, isn’t it?

* Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3487

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