An old proverb says that "The world is a net; the more we stir in it, the more we are entangled."
Max Lucado, a prominent author and minister, tells this story about a prank that occurred years ago:
It seems a couple of prowlers broke into a department store in a large city. They successfully entered the store, stayed long enough to do what they came to do, and escaped unnoticed. What is unusual about the story is what these fellows did. They took nothing. Absolutely nothing. No merchandise was stolen. No items were removed. But what they did do was ridiculous.
Instead of stealing anything, they changed the cost of everything. Price are swapped. Values were exchanged. These clever pranksters took the tag off a $395.00 camera and stuck it on a $5.00 box of stationery. The $5.95 sticker on a paperback book was removed and placed on an outboard motor. They repriced everything in the store!
Crazy? You bet. But the craziest part of this story took place the next morning. The store opened as usual. Employees went to work. Customers began to shop. The place functioned as normal for four hours before anyone noticed what had happened.
Four hours! Some people got some great bargains. Others got fleeced. For four solid hours no one noticed that the values had been swapped.
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO OUR LIVES?
As price tags were exchanged, valuable goods became cheap, and the cheap became valuable. This can happen to us. We exchange things that are important for those that, in comparison, are unimportant---- the world honors success and hard work, so we devote ourselves to jobs we can't wait to retire from, while ignoring marriages that we entered in to for a lifetime;
- we seek clean, healthy homes, but let them become dumping grounds for the pollution contained in some television programs, movies and popular music; and,
- we want our children to have strong character traits like honesty and integrity, but spend far more time taking them to athletic events and other activities than tending to their spiritual and moral needs.
Yes, the world is a net; the more we stir in it, the more we are entangled. Seeking "happiness" and acceptance, we buy into the world's values and do what is popular. But if the world's values can produce true happiness, why is there a constant effort to create and promote new forms of amusement and entertainment?
Focus your time and attention on what is valuable to you. While doing so, put your spiritual needs at the top of the list. Nothing should come before your relationship with a man named Jesus. Even though he was dead, he is now alive, seated at the right hand of the throne of God. He understands, He knows, he cares. And he nourishes those who seek to be fed.
As Erwin Lutzer observed ...
if you are not nourished by the Bread from heaven, you will stuff yourself with crumbs from the world. Real nourishment comes only from Jesus Christ. You'll be eternally sorry if you exchange real nourishment for crumbs.
"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"