Last Sunday me and the kids drove to the town where I grew up. We were spending the week visiting with my family. It's a two hour drive and the kids do really well on it. We were enjoying ourselves, singing songs and eating some huge lollipops. As we got into town we had to go through some construction. While driving through all the cones Jason was handing me a piece of garbage so I was looking straight ahead, concentrating on staying within the cones while reaching back to Jason... and as I passed a very familiar place my heart did a little stop and stutter.
Did I really just see what I think I saw?
Surely that wasn't the right place.
The family business that has always been there was gone.
You see... my grandpa built a great business... The Greenhouse. It was huge. I worked there in summers growing up. I didn't love working there but it was a job and it was family and it was pretty much guaranteed. In the summers all fifteen or so greenhouses would be full of every kind of flower and vegetable that you can name. In the winter they were filled with poinsettias. You needed plants or flowers... The Greenhouse had it.
There isn't a day in my memory that the business wasn't there on the main highway.
Even after Grandpa passed away seven years ago it stayed.
Even after Grandma retired and closed the business it was still there.
Empty... but there.
It's been torn down and there is no trace of it at all.
What was once a booming business is now an empty lot.
As I thought about this and drove past it again during the week it felt like a hundred pound weight dropped to the bottom of my soul.
Before I go on I want you to know that this isn't about my grandpa... he was a great man with great faith. This is about me...
My grandpa put his blood, sweat and tears into that business. He worked it. He grew it into something huge. And it's gone. Just like that... gone. And it makes me ask myself what am I spending my life building?
Of course it is important to work and make a living. I'm not saying we shouldn't do that.
But am I spending just as much energy and time building what is lasting?
When I pass on and am gone from this world...
When every possession I have is gone...
When the worldly things are torn down and no longer exist...
Will there be anything left at all that I have built?
Am I spending my time building people?
Am I spending my time building souls?
Am I spending my time building what will last?
Am I spending my time building eternity?
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.