Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.Philippians 3:8 (NLT)
In my younger years, many moons ago, I was on a Pathfinder camping trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. I hadn’t really camped much before, so it was an exciting prospect – living in a tent, not having to shower, hunting for our own food. (OK, the only hunting we did was to go to the Pathfinder leader’s trailer at the right time to get food.) It was an opportunity to not only smell like a man, but to practice doing manly things. So, that’s what a couple of friends and I did. In addition to hiking, whittling, stick fighting, and making the woods our restroom, we discovered something very cool.
One day, as we were wallowing in the dirt, we discovered some small rocks that were a familiar color. They weren’t black, or brown, or gray like the others. They were shinier. They were gold! We found gold! We furiously began digging all over the hillside we were playing on. We found all kinds of gold nuggets! We filled our pockets until they were bulging with the precious metal. We were rich! Or, so we thought.
We ran back to camp to show our leader. We were so excited! But, our excitement soon turned to disappointment as our Pathfinder leader explained to us that we had found pyrite, also known as Fool’s Gold. Instead of being rich, we only had a few pounds of worthless rocks.
How often do we line our pockets with things that we think will make our lives rich only to discover that they just weigh us down? How often does Satan convince us if we just had that job, that boy, that girl, those looks, that technology, that car, and so on, that our lives would be better than we could ever imagine? It’s all Fool’s Gold. Those things can’t take the place of our desire to love and be loved. And there’s only one being in the universe that has the love we crave in our life. Jesus Christ.
That’s why the Apostle Paul penned our verse for today. To paraphrase, he says, “Stop chasing Fool’s Gold, it is worthless. Instead focus all of your attention, energy, and worship on the One who is priceless. Lose stuff. Gain Christ.”