29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
- Matthew 19:29-30
In 1999, the New York Mets were so desperate to get rid of the boisterous Bobby Bonilla that they decided that it would be better to buy out the last year of his contract with the remaining $5.9 million than to keep him for one more year. However, they also had a “can’t miss” investment with Bernard Maddoff that they thought would give them outrageous returns, so instead of giving Bonilla his payout in 2000, they deferred it so they could invest that money with Maddoff.
Here’s what happened: Maddoff’s investment ended up being a Ponzi scheme that left the Mets in financial ruins and the deferred buyout with Bonilla means that the Mets owe Bonilla $1.2 million a year from 2011 to 2035. So the Mets gave Bonilla a 24-year contract worth $29.8 million for a year he didn’t even play. In fact, this year’s 2015 National League Champion Mets paid more money this year to the long-retired, 52 year old Bonilla than to Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard COMBINED!
What do we learn? The world has many things to offer that look shiny and great, which we convince ourselves would make our lives so much better if we had them. Like your iPhone 5 that cost $849 in September 2012 that was worth $300 by September 2014 when the iPhone 6 came out. Or as baseball players, how much better would life be if you made varsity, got a scholarship at that college, got drafted, got called up? Don’t be the Mets. Don’t live for the here and now while you blow the future. Instead live for eternity in the here and now.
When a rich young ruler came up to Jesus and asked him what he needed to do to get eternal life, Jesus first told him to keep the commandments. The man claimed that he had, so he asked what was missing. Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
What is valuable in your life? What do you live for? Honestly. How much of your efforts are pointed at success, money, things? What are the things in your life that you wouldn’t be willing to walk away from even if Jesus asked you to your face? What are the things that are robbing your eternity so you can seek temporary comfort or happiness today?
Don’t live for today. Live for Eternity.