\This is a confusing title, isn’t it? We are so accustomed to hearing it the other way around, that people come and go in our lives. I’m here to tell you that the opposite is true: stuff comes and goes, but people are forever.
We tend to think of stuff as the measure of our life’s accomplishments. For example, our collection of things in our homes, our vehicles, and our homes themselves. Others consider money to be the thing that shows how much they’ve accomplished, especially when they’ve saved it up over the years.
Here’s the reality of it all: stuff comes and goes. Money is fleeting. It gets earned and spent. Now, I’m not suggesting that we don’t need to worry about money. I’ve had money, and I’ve not had money, and I’ll tell you, it’s better to have it. But the old adage “You can’t take it with you” remains true to this day. I’ve never heard of anyone that was buried with their iPhone that actually made a call with it. And for most of us, money comes in and goes out at about the same pace. That’s called living paycheck-to-paycheck, and lots more people do it that you might realize. Money truly is fleeting.
Buildings. Yeah, that’s it, right? Buildings are the things that stick around. Well, not really. Here’s a great example: my family and I went to AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, for a stadium tour. It’s a beautiful place. Rewind to 21 years earlier. My then-girlfriend-now-wife and I went to Texas Stadium, former home of the Dallas Cowboys, to watch them play our Carolina Panthers. That stadium hosted five Cowboys teams that went on to win SuperBowls throughout the 70s and 90s, and it’s gone. It was imploded in 2010 after the new AT&T Stadium opened for business. Buildings aren’t forever either.
What about the stuff in your house? You keep that forever, right? Well, have you ever had a yard sale? Why did you have it? Probably for one of two reasons, or both: you needed the money, or you had too much stuff and wanted some of it gone. Admittedly, I have at least a small stuff problem at my own home. I have things put away in storage that I will probably never use or even get to again. I have had yard sales to get rid of some of it, and I’ll probably have one again sometime in the near future. Household stuff isn’t forever either.
What about cars? That’s the second-most expensive investment most of us make. The average American flips cards about every three years. In the days of the past, hitting the 100,000 mile mark on a vehicle was pretty much the death knell for the car. Now, cars can last 250,000 miles or more on their original engines because of technological advances in oils and computers. Still, the average new car gets traded away in three years. Cars aren’t even close to permanent.
What about houses? Houses are permanent once they’re built, right? Ever heard of Greenbow, Alabama? It’s the fictional home of the Gump family in the movie Forrest Gump. That beautiful southern home was actually in a real town in my home state in Varnville, SC. You’d think a house from such a famous movie would be around forever through preservation efforts, right? Well, it’s gone. It wasn’t up to code, and wasn’t kept up by anyone, so it got knocked down. So much for a sequel.
People, however are truly forever. God told us so in The Bible. In John 3:16, John wrote, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” God loves us so much that he sent his son to die on the cross to absolve us of our sins so that we can have life eternal with Him in Heaven. While people may come in and out of our worldly lives, they live forever in the eternal afterlife. When we choose to follow God’s will, to obey His commandments, and to love and worship Him, we put ourselves on the path to our own immortality. When we share God’s word with others, we help them to walk on the path to eternal life. There has never been a time in the history of the world where acceptance of Christianity has been more prevalent. Be proud of your Christianity, and profess it to others. Know that every time you do, you take another step toward your own eternal life, and you just might help someone else take a step toward their own.
One last thought: we will lose people in our worldly lives. That pain can be quite a lot to endure because of the impact the loss has on us. However, take great joy in knowing that they will live on forever in the afterlife. They may have changed addresses, but they’re still around. One day, you will be reunited with them forever, and they’ll receive you with open arms. Trust in God that they are eternal, and you will be too.
Remember, stuff comes and goes, but people are forever.
May God bless you, now and always.