“I’m restored and made right/ He got a hold of my life/ I’ve got Jesus/ How could I want more?”- I Got Saved by Selah
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”- Matthew 6:19-21
“Smart players are clear on what lasts and what doesn’t. So Jesus says it’s wise to store up treasures in what’s eternal: God and people.”- John Ortberg
Before the advent of MLB The Show 18 or R. B. I. Baseball 18, Baby Boomers like myself enjoyed Cadeco’s All-Star Baseball. Former ballplayer Ethan Allen developed this hands-on game, first sold in 1941. Today the game ranks among the most popular board games of the last sixty years.
Each circular player disc represented a pie chart of that player’s overall performance. The chart depicted the actual career percentage a player achieved in various ways of getting on base or making outs. Thus, numbers on the disc ranging from 1 to 14 designated specific data for each player. Hence, a spin landing on #1 indicated a home run, while landing on #10 meant a strike out.
But when the game ended, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle went back in the box, their athletic riches only a memory.
Writing in When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, John Ortberg cites Yale theologian Miroslav Volf. Professor Volf notes two kinds of riches in life, “richness of having” and “richness of being.” While richness of having consists of an external circumstance, richness of being involves an inner experience. As a result, when the “haves” keep popping up in your thoughts, your language reflects your focus on the richness of having.
Furthermore, Pastor Ortberg notes, the richness of having never satisfies the bottomless pit of our desires. Therefore, no matter how much stuff we amass, we remain what Volf calls “not-enough people.” In other words, no lasting soul satisfaction exists for not-enough people. So, if we give casually, John observes, we wind up with casual joy. But, we receive immense joy when our giving is effortless, thoughtful, and creative.
Most noteworthy, your sense of freedom always increases when you give. Because giving signals your declaration that your security rests someplace other than your bank account. Rather, it gives witness to your confidence in God. As Pastor Ortberg quips, “you cannot get enough of what you do not need.”
In conclusion, John exhorts and explains how to get your soul restored:
“On the other hand, we can have very little and yet be rich. A rich soul experiences life differently. It experiences a sense of gratitude for what it has received rather than resentment for what it hasn’t gotten. It faces the future with hope rather than anxiety. . . . freed from the treadmill of having. Richness of being is always available. I can seek at any time, with God’s help, to be compassionate, generous, grateful, and joyful.”