What is really important in life?
Most people would answer this question by talking about family and friends. Some would appreciate stability and creature comforts. Most people would recognize, at least mentally, that work and stuff and other such things would not qualify as “really important.”
But how do we make clear what is important– by what we say or what we do? We humans are good at saying one thing and doing quite another. We may say that family is important, but how much time do we spend with our families? We may recognize that “stuff” really is not that important, but how many work longer hours to make more money to get more stuff? How many people are really slaves to their job? These concerns are only made more acute when there is economic uncertainty. Stress and anxiety grow when there is concern about losing hours or a job, or when bills pile up.
But what would happen if a disaster took place? What if everything you owned burned up in a fire? What if a tornado, hurricane, or flood carried away your belongings?
There would be sorrow for that which was lost for certain. Places full of memories are no more. But you would still be alive– and you would recognize the importance of life.
God wants us to recognize that despite the high-stress pace of modern existence, life is the most important thing: our own lives, the lives of family members, friends, associates, acquaintances, and even enemies and people we do not know. It is best when we learn this lesson before it is too late!
We hope and pray that we will never experience a natural disaster. Nevertheless, Peter indicates that a day is coming when what really is important will be made evident in 2 Peter 3:10-12:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
A day of fire is coming, and all the works of man will be destroyed. Every monument, every building, every organization, every creature comfort– every last thing will be no more. When all of this goes down, what will be really important?
Nothing will be more important on that day than the soul and its condition. Have we been faithful to Jesus Christ and prepared the soul for eternal life, or have we spent our days in sinful living, storing up wrath for eternity (Romans 2:5-10)? Have we been working to store treasure in Heaven, practicing righteousness, love, and mercy, or will all of our effort have been destroyed in that great fire (Matthew 6:19-21)?
Let none be deceived: everything you can see, hear, taste, and touch is not important. It will all perish by that final day. When we all stand before God, no one will worry about having not worked overtime, obtaining the next great piece of technology, or any such thing. We will all be concerned with how we have sustained our soul and the souls of those whom we love. Do not allow that day to come upon you unaware– serve Jesus Christ today!