And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21 ESV).
August is almost gone. I wish I could say that it didn’t seem to fly by, but it did. In a way I like that. Most my favorite things happen in the fall. It won’t be long until I’m out in the woods of Middle Tennessee watching the leaves turn and drop; listening for the soft sounds of the world as it wakes up in the morning; and, taking in the wonderful scent of the forest as it readies for winter. It will be here very soon. Time is like that. It passes quickly.
Our reading today is about a man who didn’t realize the precious nature of time. Jesus tells the story of a rich farmer who enjoyed great success. Reflecting on his accomplishments, he remarked how he would need to build bigger barns to hold his bounty. He was making plans to expand his business even further, going into other cities to sell his crops. But God told him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?”
We can find some commendable things about this rich man. He was a hardworking farmer. He probably would have had to work longer and get up earlier and expend more energy than the other farmers of his day to achieve such success. But his mistake wasn’t in being successful in his work. His mistake wasn’t even in acquiring possessions. His mistake was failing to make plans for eternity. He was living large. But he forgot that the clock was ticking, that life was passing by.
And this man who died, leaving all his possessions behind, is like many people today. They just want to enjoy the moment. “Take it easy!” they say. “Eat, drink, and be merry!” Yet God says that is not the way to live. In Psalm 10, the psalmist describes an arrogant, wicked man. One of the most striking things he says about this man is in verse 4: “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God”. That says it so well, doesn’t it? There was no room for God, no room for the Creator, Lord, and Savior in all this man’s many thoughts about this and that.
Our lives on this earth may be very brief, but when we fill our thoughts with the eternal God and His purposes, we prepare ourselves for an endless life in His presence. How’s your timekeeping?
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