A cartoon shows a group of rats running through a corridor of a maze. Written on the wall ahead are the words ‘WORK HARDER…’ Rounding the corner the rats run along the next corridor. Ahead on the wall are the words ‘EARN MORE MONEY…’ The rats round that corner and another wall greets them with the message ‘BUY MORE…’ The rats scamper on vyjng for the lead… Rounding the next corner they see the words ‘KEEP GOING…’ on and on they go, certain their reward is ‘just around the corner,’ but never arriving.
There is a certain kind of ant called a ‘processional ant.’ They are so-named because of their tendency to blindly follow the processional ant in front of them. An experiment was done placing these ants around the rim of a glass. The result? They followed each other in a circle until eventually, one by one, they died and fell into the glass.
Mad, pointless following. It seems that if we are not following Christ, we will follow almost anything.
Because we know we need a guide, but refusing Christ, we are lost!
It is a curious fact about human nature that the more lost we are, the faster we go! Lostness brings with it it’s own frantic desperation. We get in a mad rush to create more and more Facebook “friends” while really having no one to hold your hand in a crisis. We work harder… We earn more money… We buy more… We keep going…
Prosperity becomes addictive. It creates only further discontent. Solomon – the wisest and richest of men — observed, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” (Eccl. 5:10) We are ensnared, but do not know it.
C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters has Senior devil Screwtape advising junior demon Wormwood how best to use prosperity to draw a man away from Christ…
“Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it’, while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth, which is just what we want.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
But we were made for better things than that. You were made for better things than that.
We are called to become Citizens of God’s eternal kingdom, not merely Consumers of this world’s temporary wares.
“Your Jesus is just a crutch!” our critics taunt. But wise is the man who reaches for this crutch when he sees his legs are broken! Foolish is the man who limping on wonders at his pain.
Jesus warned “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:14)
Paul warns Timothy, “…people of corrupt mind… think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Tim. 6:5-8)
The author of Hebrews writes, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” – Heb. 13:5-6 (NIV)
Do our Lord proud…