26 June 2008

A place for all my stuff

On Sunday, the world lost a comedic genius with the death of George Carlin. Now, whether you liked him, loved him or hated him, his comedy routines were guaranteed to make you think, ponder and just be amazed. He had a phenomenal love of the English language and would consistently examine it (and the world in which it was used) in ways that would boggle the mind. Every obituary or tribute that I have read this week about his life makes mention of his most famous routine ("the seven words you cannot say on TV"), but that is the not the routine that made me fall in love with George Carlin. In 1986, George Carlin appeared on Comic Relief and did a routine about "stuff". At the tender age of 22, I thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen and just watching the clip again (Thanks, YouTube) made me laugh all over again. [If you have never seen it - and aren't offended by a few curse words (and this routine is pretty clean in comparison to some of his routines), you can check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac]

In this routine, George addresses the fact that we have "stuff" in our lives and as we move - from house to vacation to visiting friends and family - we take our "stuff" with us. As we move from place to place, the amount of "stuff" we take gets exponentially smaller and smaller based on where we are going and how long we plan to stay there...

Hmm...the amount of "stuff" we take gets smaller and smaller based on where we are going...

It is the belief of Christians everywhere that all you will be allowed to take with you to heaven is your character. Not your house, or fancy car, or prestigious education. Not the money you have accumulated in the bank, not your stock portfolio, not the bonds hidden under the mattress. Not your friendships or family members. Not even all the photo albums of all those vacations you took. None of that "stuff" will go to heaven with you. And guess what? In time, even your memory of those things will be wiped away...Only your character will follow you. I am not saying that you should not enjoy your house or car or job or status while you are here - we are admonished to "occupy until He comes" [Luke 19:13], but we shouldn't be so attached to these things that we would forfeit our soul salvation for them. Enjoy them - God would not have blessed you with these material things if He did not want you to enjoy them - BUT, make sure that you don't lose focus as to what is truly important in the scheme of things.

Be blessed.

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