Where Moth & Rust Destroy
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves breakin and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. – Matthew 6:19-20
About an hour after teaching from Matthew 6:19-24 this past Sunday, I watched as the statue of legendary Penn St. football coach, Joe Paterno was unceremoniously removed from outside the stadium that he essentially built.
I had no idea that a stark, modern illustration of Jesus’ warning in Matthew 6:19 would come so quickly, but nevertheless, there it was. A memorial that once denoted over 50 years of integrity and leadership gone in the time it takes to have some Hamburger Helper.
This carefully manicured legacy that required time, energy, passion, creativity and resources beyond one’s wildest imagination, now amounts to the cement residue left in the impressions of the statue.
The treasures on earth. They, like our lives, are fragile. They are not immune to disappearing. They are not resistant to change. They can vanish tomorrow on trucks or on the backs of service workers. They reside in places where shadowy figures lift them and moth and rust destroy.
Why do we pursue the treasures on earth with such vigor? Why do we sacrifice our lives to construct and guard them? Why do we forsake what matters most for their conservation?
Jesus was prescriptive in his Sermon on the Mount. He simply said pursue the things that can’t be touched by time, thieves or fallenness. In essence, run hard after him and the things he values. The treasures in heaven. The things that last forever.
Then joy, peace and fulfillment will reign even while our trophies and statues are carried away or melted down into one of those tacky, big horn sheep figurines that you see at a roadside flea market. It’s not a big deal because our treasures are not on earth.
©2012 Jason Autry. Originally posted July 24, 2012 on Jason Autry’s Blog.