Watching the news this morning, I heard that some guy bought Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball for $752,467 including a 20% commission to Sotheby’s. I can’t help but wonder how much joy that ball will bring the man, or for that matter, the home run goal that Barry Bonds achieved, particularly in light of his positive drug testing use. How shallow it will all feel in a few days. Man sets huge goals for himself and hopes to make some impact on his world, and occasionally even cheats to accomplish it, then often faces serious depression.
Even when a goal is achieved fairly and with much hard work, it often comes up empty after a short while. Mandisa, the American Idol starlet has recently spoken candidly about the depression that set in after her fame on the show.
The astronauts who have gone into space almost without exception feel a huge let down after they’ve accomplished the mission that they’ve trained for their whole lives. In fact, they even go through therapy as part of the program after they get home.
Truly, all these examples speak to the same point the Bible makes in storing up our treasures here on earth and putting our efforts and time into things that are temporal. “The grass withers. The flowers fade. But the Word of the Lord stands forever.” So much of this life is grass and flowers, and they are designed for joy in the moment but not for eternity. God wants to protect us from this kind of vain pursuit.
Colossians 3:1-2 gives us some great advice for holy, purposeful living. “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…then in verse 15, goes on to say “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
It is not wrong to set goals for our lives, even a few temporal ones, but it is a good idea to keep our main focus on the big picture for the sake of joy in the eternal perspective.