by Tom Wacaster
A recent commercial showed a man pulling a bus with his teeth. A strap attached to the bumper was clinched in his mouth and used to pull a bus along a tarmac. Dad would have said this was “an achievement, though not a major one.” In fact, those words might very well describe a large number of folks with such “unusual” talents. There was one man who had a life’s ambition of setting the world record for spinning fifteen basketballs simultaneously. Or how about the one who could, and did, drive a nail into his nostrils as a human “peg board.” In the overall scope of things I don’t think that spinning basketballs or driving nails into the skull would rate very high when it comes to significant achievements. What it comes down to is priorities. In Walt Disney’s, “The Lion King,” the theme song has these words:
“From the time we arrive on the planet,
And blinking step into the sun.
There is more to see than can ever be seen,
More to do than can ever be done.”
None of us can ever hope to do everything, so we have to carefully choose what we will do. Too much of our time is taken up with bobbles and bells that may entertain for the moment but in the final analysis provide no lasting value. Hence, we are admonished by our Lord to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). We admit that truth, but practical application sometimes is lacking. Undoubtedly we would acknowledge that a worthwhile and responsible work is to be preferred to getting into the Guinness World Book of Records. So likewise we would admit the importance of a well ordered life over one of disorder and rebellion. Now consider this. Why is it that priorities come crashing to the earth when it comes to Christian responsibilities like prayer, study, and attendance? Why do otherwise responsible adults allow the insignificant things of life to crowd out their service to God? Is television really that much more important than Bible study? Is one more hour of sleep that much more important than an hour in Bible class with other Christians on Sunday morning? Is keeping company with guests more pressing than keeping our appointment at the Lord’s table? Is that ball game, or fishing trip more valuable, more lasting, more significant than visiting the sick, or helping the needy? Yet when we allow those insignificant and temporal things to interfere with our Christian responsibilities we have misplaced our priorities. To be sure many of those things that get in the way of serving our God are important and significant when compared to other things that are temporal. But when compared with eternity, much of what the world might consider a noble achievement simply does not measure up. It is only a matter of time until time will not matter. When we stand before God, with time behind us and eternity staring us in the face, the only thing that will really matter will be whether or not we have obeyed the Gospel and remained faithful to our calling. Those two factors will not only have been an achievement, they will have been major achievements.