By Matt Hampton
Faculty, College of Theology
Recently a legend of NBA basketball, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, auctioned off most of his NBA treasures. There were things like championship rings and “Most Valuable Player” trophies. I was amazed to see how many things he was auctioning off. I was also curious as to why he would do this. Not only are they worth a lot of money but they are prized treasures. Kareem was so famously known for his majestic sky hook shot that no one could stop his shots.
When asked why he was doing this, Kareem said, “Looking back on what I have done in my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating that celebrates something that I did a long time ago, I would rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing in the future.” His proceeds would go to support his SkyHook foundation, which brings STEM education to undeserved communities. What a tremendous thing to do.
This got me thinking about my own life and what I want to be remembered for. Will people remember me for the treasures that I stored up in heaven or for what I did out of my selfish ambitions? Do my current ambitions and things that I am doing lead towards heavenly treasures or towards earthly treasures that Matthew 6:19-20 tell us that moths can eat them and rust destroy them as well as thieves breaking in and stealing them.
Matthew 24:35 says that heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. James 4:14 asks how do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 1 Corinthians 3:9-14 explains that you are God’s building. How we have to be very careful to only build the foundation on the things of Christ. If we build it on anything else such as gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw, the work will be revealed and judged.
Fire will reveal what the worker has done. If it is done in Christ it will last, if it is done in any other way, it will be burned up. In other words, if what I am doing today is not built on the foundation of Christ and I am doing it for my own selfish ambitions or my own benefit, it will not last as a treasure in heaven.
So what is important to you in this world? What do you want to be remembered for? Do your current actions match what you want to be remembered for? Are you building treasures in Heaven or are you building treasures that will not last. Kareem Abdul Jabbar through his actions reminded me of this. How are you doing? What do you need to change today to store up treasures in Heaven? Write down some specific actions you can begin to take today.
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