More than thirty years ago I was part of a mission team working in France for two weeks. I had a conversation with a teenager about God and how we could know Him. He turned to his motorbike and said, “This is my god.”
It was not a big powerful bike with lots of gleam, it was a modest moped, and not new. It was obviously his pride and joy. I said, “Have you never heard of rust?”
The point I was trying to make was that expressed in the old song, “change and decay all around I see…” The song goes on to speak of God as the unchangeable one who is always faithful to those who belong to him. I knew that the boy would some day need someone greater than his motorbike, that this small god would eventually be insufficient for him.
A friend recounted a similar conversation he had had some years back with a man who pointed at his house and said, “What do I need God for? Look at my house, the car and boat on my drive.” The sadness my friend felt for this man has remained with him for years and today he told me about it.
These two incidents come to my mind, and more like them I have known, because of the item in the news of the man who came upon difficult times financially so he killed his wife and their 15 year old daughter then set his home on fire and killed himself. It seems he had spoken to friends that he had been feeling suicidal. He had gone on to say that he did not think his wife and daughter would be able to cope with a reduced lifestyle. Pity he did not give them the choice but decided the matter for them.
I am grateful to God for the treasures I have, my wife, my family, my friends, my stuff (nice house, nice bicycles) but I hope I will never end up worshipping them or making gods our of them. I know deep down that all I see around me will fail and fall from my eyes some day, including those near to me. I want my trust to be in Jesus, the one who never fails and who will take me into eternity. What a shame that millionaire did not have his life secure in that great hope.