My sister has a sock full of quarters. It’s really a purse—a Dollar Store treasure. She keeps it filled with change to have on hand when one of her grandkids asks to board a mechanical ride or grab a toy with a claw or just get a small prize from a machine when they’re out and about together. Recently, while on just such an outing at a discount store, the following exchange took place between my sister and her five-year-old grandson, Luke:
Luke (holding up a wallet from a display): Gigi, look at this billfold.
Gigi: Oh, yes, that really is a nice one.
Luke: You should get it, Gigi!
Gigi: Well, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that.
Luke: But Gigi, you need it! You shouldn’t carry all your money around in a sock!
I love this story because it makes me laugh and also because I sense God teaching me through it. He whispers to my heart that I can be a lot like Luke. He believed the money in that sock was all there was and, being five years old, he thought it was enough. It’s cute for a child to think that way, of course, but I should know better. Nevertheless, I sometimes live as if the stuff of this world is like the money in the sock. It’s all I can see so it seems like all there is.
And from that faulty perspective, a fun ride through life acquiring toys and prizes along the way can seem like enough.
In contrast, the ride my Father has paid for me to board leads down a hard road. (Matthew 7:14) The prizes along its route are hidden, and finding them requires searching, sacrifice, and surrender. (Jeremiah 29:13)
One day the difference in the value of the two rides will be as obvious as the difference between a ring from a gumball machine and the Hope diamond. One day. But not yet. Right now choosing the ride that leads to Hope requires faith. Faith that the Creator of the universe has made the riches of heaven available to me. It cost Him not quarters, but His beloved only Son. Truly, there is not a sock or purse or wallet in the world big enough to contain the treasure He has given us in Jesus Christ. He alone is enough.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8