We went to a Labor Day parade in Naperville, IL today. It was our toddler’s first real parade experience if you discount the psychedelic, seizure-inducing Alice-in-Wonderland parade at Disneyworld. There was the usual fare of marching bands, police cars, firefighters, politicians waiving signs, acrobat groups, martial art schools, and fuzzy characters for the kids.
Most of all there was a lot of free swag being handed out. We went home with gobs of candy, coupons, beach balls, and even a full-size yardstick (a parade-handouts first for me too).
And as we walked away carrying about three times more than we came in with, I wondered what we were going to do with all this stuff since we’re traveling across the country. It’s not like we have a lot of room in the car to carry it all. At some point, I’ll have to clean out the car and toss every thing we don't really want to take home in the garbage.
And then I was reminded of the sermon from yesterday about Matthew 6:19-34. Jesus’ teachings in this section can be summed in three points: don’t worry about your daily needs, God takes care of you; don’t store up treasures on Earth, store up treasures in heaven; and seek first the kingdom of God in all things.
I think we tend to forget that we’re all on a journey in this life, and we’re essentially living out of our cars. When the journey is over, our Father is going to clean out our cars, and only the things that are eternally essential are going home with us. Your big screen T.V. is going in the trash, the 100 pairs of barely worn shoes in your closet-trash, the lovely dinette set in your dining room-trash, your new car, trash, your house-trash, your 401K-trash.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus compared a rich man entering the kingdom of heaven to a camel going through the eye of a needle? (Matthew 19:24) Just try to picture someone carrying all their junk on their back trying to fit through the gate of heaven. It’s an impossible feat.
That’s why Jesus says to give up everything for His sake. You can’t take it home with you.