“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.’ (Matthew 6:20 NIV)
“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around one in a while, you could miss it.” This little bit of wisdom comes from the mouth of that sage of the ’80s, Ferris Bueller, just before he took his day off. Of course, if you’ve seen the movie you realize, not only is this Ferris’ mantra, but essentially the point of the movie.
How fast does life move? Try this on for size, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” came out 31 years ago. Which would make Ferris today older than his parents were in the movie. Let that sink in for a moment.
Of course, Ferris is right, life does move fast. It’s that time of year when I’m reminded of this every time I look at social media or look at our mail. I’ve seen pictures of kids going to prom that I’m sure were only in kindergarten the other day. I’ve seen pictures of graduation ceremonies of people I am sure must be too young to graduate. Why they are only…..Is it possible?
I look at our own family in this past year. We’ve had graduations, a wedding, a grandchild born, our youngest daughter going to for college. It just never ends. What changes have happened in your life in the past year? Good old Ferris was right, life moves pretty fast.
The swiftness of time, and our inability to do anything about it lives at the heart of this passage from Jesus’ sermon on the Mount. When I first read this I got the impression what Jesus meant was don’t be greedy and spend all of your time making money here on earth because that all rusts away.
And certainly there is a warning against greed. Greed is never good. Yet, I’m not convinced that’s entirely Jesus’ point. Jesus isn’t saying that money or wealth is necessarily bad.Or that aestheticism is the road to heaven. Thee is nothing necessarily holy about poverty. And while there is no doubt self-denial is a critical part of our spiritual formation, it also lends itself to extremes. Taken too far, we can abuse ourselves, or at the very least find ourselves removed from the joy God wishes to give us.
The point of this Scripture may not be so much concerned with what we have, but what we hold. One of the greatest treasures we have is our time. We guard it jealously and allow others to use it begrudgingly. Yet, try as we might, we cannot hold onto it. As precious as this moment may be in your life it is fleeting. We can’t hold onto our youth, nor can we stop time. Life moves pretty fast.
But Jesus points us beyond time to eternity. Maybe we can’t hold onto time here on earth because we were never meant to. Our longing to be able to stop time might very well come from the fact we were created for more than this world. It comes from our longing to be united with Christ in eternity. It’s an echo of our being made in the image of an eternal God. Jesus says don’t try to hold onto time here because you can’t. Yu were never mean to. Instead let it lead you to the only place where every true desire will be fulfilled.
The truth is, the more we hold onto the truth of eternity the more we enjoy the fleeting of time on earth. We realize that while we can’t stop time we don’t need to be controlled by it either. We find that a better perspective eases our grip on time and allows us to enjoy each day. We realize that while good times may not last, neither will bad days. They too will fade away. We can’t hold onto the “glory” of our youth, but we also don’t have to be bound by our awkward moments either.
So where will you store up your treasure? By holding desperately to what will fade or to that which will always last? Life moves pretty fast, and that’s Ok.
Rev. Dr. Brian Jones <><