The Winner

Ecclesiastes 5:15-16, “As he came from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came; he will take nothing for his efforts that he can carry in his hands. This too is a sickening tragedy: exactly as he comes, so he will go. What does the one gain who struggles for the wind?”  
Those verse  in Ecclesiastes have run through my mind frequently these last couple of months. I’m not sure if that was the catalyst that made us decide to begin clearing away all of our excess stuff or not, but I do know that all of the stuff that we had collected over the years was taking up too much room in our lives.  So between the drop box at a church, the Hospice thrift store and the flea market, we have made a huge dent in the amount of stuff that seemed to fill every shelf and drawer. 
A well-worn saying goes something like this:  “the one who dies with the most toys wins!!”
Nothing could be further from the truth!
In 1 Corinthians 9:23-25 the Apostle Paul tells us that everything that he did was for the sake of the gospel, for the crown that will not fade away.  He speaks of life as a race, a race that requires self-control and discipline. 
Humans have a penchant for stockpiling possessions and those stockpiles are not a result of self-control and discipline.  On the contrary, they are the result of a foolish idea that we are made greater or more important by the quantity and quality of our possessions.  But the truth is, we were born empty-handed and we will leave this world the same way.  All the stuff that we have bought and stored for some moment in time, that special holiday, that perfect occasion. . . .all of that stuff is in a state of decay, no matter what care we have used to protect it in storage.
One day, the here-and-now will become the sweet-by-and-by and nothing that we possess will go with us.  And the most important thing is to use what God has given us to bless others so that we will be storing up our treasure where it belongs!

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