Rory O’Hara has his heart set on wealth and success, so much so that he often cannot see the wood for the trees, or reality for his delusions. He buys a mansion in Surrey and sets about building stables on it for his wife Allison, who loves horses. Then the builders stop turning up, and when Allison phones them she discovers they have not been paid. Because the O’Hara’s money is running out. Rory believes the next big payment is just around the corner and continues to bluff his way, but the world is crumbling around him and his family. He has set his mind on the wrong vision. His heart on the wrong dream. The band The Police once sang about us being spirits in a material world, Madonna later proclaimed herself to be a material girl in a material world. Jesus dared to encourage us to set the things of God first in our thinking, above the material things of this life. That’s not easy! We are all making our way through this material world every day, well aware of its pressures and troubles. And Jesus knows this too. He has lived in a society under pressure, where taxes were high and scraping a living was often hard. But I think he knows too what makes for peace. He once talked of treasure, the kind that doesn’t get frittered away or vanish in a crisis. ‘Where your heart is that’s where your treasure will be.’ Rory’s heart was set on the kind of treasure that can be elusive and never enough. Jesus set his sights on the kind of treasure that fills the gap inside and affects how we see the world and others. It’s not so much that he despised money, not at all, but he could see what the love of it can do to people. He told of a rich fool trying to fill the gap inside with the stuff that only makes the gap bigger. Jesus offered another way, invited us to bring our worries and hopes to God so that the maker of treasure could lift our burdens and give us a way forward. One step at a time.
I regularly post creative pieces which help folks connect with the Bible in a contemporary and down-to-earth way. Please feel free to make use of them if they inspire you. I also post daily short thoughts on Twitter and have produced a variety of books, most of which draw on the Bible.