“And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’” – Luke 12:19
There’s a riddle I ran across the other day that goes like this. “Question: What do retirement funds, college degrees and nuclear submarines have in common? Answer: They are all designed to give us a sense of security – security for our future, security in our vocation, and security for our protection.” So it got me thinking, do they really? Yet security in this increasingly insecure world seems to be one of today’s most sought after – and elusive – commodities.
Some time ago I experienced a sudden unexpected medical event that nearly took my life, should have actually except for the action of my quick-responder wife and the grace of God. It happened in spite of my best efforts to do all the right things – exercise, regular checkups, good diet, hard work, retirement savings, a college education and so on – which according to conventional media hype should have made my life secure. Or did it?
In the parable Jesus tells of a rich man whose land produced such a good crop he decided he should build bigger barns to store it in, for by doing so he could just kick back and live the good life. In other words he had enough to be secure the rest of his life. Except . . . “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.’”
For years I had mistakenly believed, like the rich man, that true accomplishment could be measured by how much we had stacked in the barn. But if my little health incident taught me anything it was to beware of such thinking; that in fact there is but one measure of true accomplishment in this life and that is to fulfill the purpose for which God uniquely created each of us.
If you’re thinking like I did that when you have enough stacked in the barn you can just take life easy, eat, drink and be merry; beware, for this very night your life may be demanded of you. So rather than pursuing some elusive security, let us instead be about the business of fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.