“Follow me”. These are the words Jesus spoke to Levi a tax collector, who then rose from his desk and walked out the door, never looking back. Levi later became one of the twelve, Matthew. Could you do this, leave everything behind to follow Jesus?
Here was Levi, a tax collector with a good paying job. he more than likely lived in a nice house with lots of material goods, yet he left everything behind to live a life in poverty spreading the gospel of Jesus. I wonder how many people could do this today, in this world of materialism, where it is all about how much stuff one can acquire in their life.
Of course in my case it isn’t hard to leave everything behind since I don’t have much to begin with, but I used to be like that, sort of anyway. y ex-wife always wanted more. She was never satisfied with what we had, a roof over our heads, food on the table and two wonderful children. It was never good enough. Now this is not a harangue against my ex, not at all, but I just realized one day that there was more to life than just things. I admit it took me another ten years or so to really grasp this, the whole eternal life thing and the concept of heaven and hell.
I head this the other day, and I apologize to whoever said it as I don’t remember where I heard it, “Have you ever seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer?” My guess is you haven’t. We can’t take material goods with us. The only thing we can take with us is the spiritual goods we have. We acquire spiritual goods by doing good deeds, by helping others, by giving ourselves, our time and talents, to others.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19 -21 (also see Matthew 19:16 – 30)
When we do good for others, when we feed the hungry or clothe the naked we build up our treasures in heaven. When the day of judgement comes, this is what we will be judged upon, not how much stuff we have in the U-Haul.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these you did it not to me.” – Matthew 25:45
As I reflect on my past, I wish I had done more of this. Instead of trying to get more for me I wish had done more for others. And even more I wish I had passed this on to my children.