by Pastor Larry Sorrells, Rockville, Trinity UMC
In Matthew 16:26, Jesus asks a couple of the most pertinent questions anyone can ask about life when he asks his disciples, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Yet, the world teaches this–You can never have too much of a good thing! We must always seek to have enough, or we are somehow being cheated of that which we truly deserve.
In his book, Malcolm Forbes, The Man Who Had Everything, Christopher Winans tells of a motorcycle tour that Forbes took through Egypt in 1984 with his Capitalist Tool motorcycle team. After viewing the burial tomb of King Tut, Forbes seemed to be in a reflective mood.
As they were returning to the hotel in a shuttle bus, Forbes turned to one of his associates and asked with all sincerity: “Do you think I’ll be remembered after I die?” Forbes is remembered. He is remembered as the man who coined the phrase, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” That was the wisdom of Malcolm Forbes. In fact, that was his ambition. That’s why he collected scores of motorcycles. That’s why he would pay over a million dollars for a Faberge egg. That’s why he owned castles, hot air balloons and countless other toys that he can no longer access.
Time and life’s events help us to understand the greater wisdom of the questions and concerns Jesus raised than the Forbes’ statement that He who dies with the most toys wins.
Dying with the most toys is a cute statement, and in the case of Forbes, it is something he achieved. But his philosophy did him little good when he died at age 70 in 1990. Unfortunately for Forbes, motorcycles, hot air balloons and Faberge eggs provided little comfort once he left this spinning globe. The world keeps turning without us and our toys become nothing more than forgettable things that eventually spin into oblivion, our name and memory hardly connected with them anymore. Toys are fun, but they stay here forever or until they age, rust, or fall apart. It is in our deeds and what we do for others that we will be remembered. Christ lived in poverty, giving of himself to benefit others. Forbes sought and lived in personal opulence. Yet, it is Christ who is loved and remembered. May we seek to live as Christ. Blessings.