Today I attended the funeral of my Great Aunt. She was 87 years old. I have wonderful memories of this sweet lady. She was, without a doubt, one of the nicest people I have ever known. She always had a smile on her face, always a kind word to say to everyone.
At the luncheon after the funeral I was visiting with one of her grandsons, and they were talking about all of the "stuff" she still has at her house. He said that a couple of weeks ago they had all picked what they wanted to have from her house, things to remember her by. And as he was driving home his brother had called him and said this:
"We all work our whole lives to accumulate stuff,
and when we die, we can’t take one thing with us, and then other people come
and get our stuff to add to their stuff that they can’t take with them either."
And I thought about this statement, and how very true it is.
We are all so protective of our "stuff." We like our "stuff." We want the same "stuff" everybody else has. To be honest, we want NICER STUFF than everybody else has.
We trade our lives for a job, so we can get MORE STUFF.
Why do we do this?
In Luke 12 Jesus said: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
I typed this in red, because these are Jesus' words. Not mine.
But I have been guilty of this. Being very concerned with the things I possess.
Wanting to possess nicer things, newer things, bigger things. Guilty.
And why do I do this??
I mean, I've been to a lot of funerals in my life. A lot. And I've never seen anybody buried with anything other than their clothes, maybe a wedding ring. No house, no car, no fancy electronic equipment, no cash, nothing in that casket but their body. So it's not like I don't KNOW that when we leave this world we take nothing with us. We all know that.
And still, we are on a relentless pursuit for more stuff.
I believe it is because as humans we are made with an empty space in our hearts. And that empty space is to be filled with a love for God. And if we don't completely fill that space with Him, well, then there's still an emptiness. And I think as humans we try to fill that empty space with "stuff."
And it doesn't fit. The "stuff" doesn't fill the void, because the void is only made to be filled with God. Not stuff.
Don't get me wrong. Stuff, in and of itself, is not bad. But shouldn't that "relentless pursuit" I referred to be a relentless pursuit for more of God, instead of for more "stuff?"
So today I'm asking God to help me pursue more of Him. To keep my priorities straight, and desire Him more than I desire the empty "stuff" of this world that I know I can't take with me anyway.
At the end of her life my Great Aunt did not ask for her "stuff" to be brought to the nursing home with her so she could see it. Her desire was to be surrounded by her family, those she loved. The "stuff" that was in her house was just that, "stuff."
What are you pursuing today? A closer relationship with God, or "stuff."