It’s a sad truth of life we spend our time doing things that seem important now, only to discover over time we have missed out on the things that actually are. Often parents discover in the process of working long hours to provide the best things for their families, they miss out on seeing their kids grow up. People pursue careers that bring them wealth and prestige only to recognize they have no friends at retirement.
And Christ-followers? We spend our days pursuing the American dream, or perhaps incessantly volunteering with our church, only to discover we’ve left Jesus out of the equation. It is a tragedy being played out across our nation and throughout the world. We are spending our finite time in pursuit of things that will pass away instead of focusing on our eternal Savior.
Jesus knew we’d end up here. He said many would come to Him when their time on earth was finished and be surprised they weren’t welcomed into His Kingdom (Matthew 7:21-23). They thought they were good. They had said the prayer and been dunked in the water. They even took communion every Sunday. It’s so easy to spend our time doing things we think are pleasing to God but forget to be pleasing to Him ourselves. We are pleasing to God when we obey His commands (John 14:15). He isn’t interested in our religious rituals, but He is interested in us living a life that looks just like Him.
We chase, money, security, comfort, and entertainment. All the things society tells us we should pursue. Every one of them is meaningless and some are in absolute contradiction to living a Christ-like life. What seems important now means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Our lives are filled with distractions. Instead of keeping Jesus at the center of our lives, we relegate Him to a seat on the sidelines. We’re glad He’s there, but He’s not part of what’s happening in the day to day play.
While we accumulate money in our retirement accounts, Jesus says we are being foolish because we may not live to spend a dime of it (Luke 12:16-21). We make certain we’ve got everything we need (and then some), but Jesus’s brother said we should be looking after the widows and the orphans (James 1:27). I am convicted this applies to our modern-day homeless and single mothers. When was the last time we did anything significant to help someone other than ourselves?
As a people, we have mastered the art of being busy. We obsess over worthless trinkets and pleasures while ignoring things of eternal value. What we’re doing seems so important today, but is it really? Is it honoring to God? Will it stand the test of eternity? Are we letting our lives pass us by with Jesus in our rearview mirror? Jesus is all that matters. When we die, He will want to know what we did for him. Remember, whatever we do for others in need is the same as doing it for Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46). What are you doing that seems important now, but you know deep down will not matter in the end? Why wait to put an end to it? Stop it now and pursue the things of Christ instead. Don’t waste your life on things that will burn up. Live your life for Jesus.