Someone might say such a thing. Someone might actually believe it. I don't.
This past week, I was privileged to have a conversation with the president of the Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic (LCCAR).
One of the initial posts on this blog concerned a fundraising effort spearheaded by my congregation to raise money to purchase motorcycles for the LCCAR. Many people participated. Many congregations added their support. We raised over $30,000. That was enough to purchase 12 motorcycles. We were overjoyed with how we were able to help.
I told President Golike that our congregation helped him get the motorcycles for his church.
He replied, "The rebels stole all our motorcycles."
For those who do not know the political situation in the Central African Republic, well...it sucks. It's bad. There's been a lot of fighting. Lots of people have been killed. Many of the leaders and intellectuals in the country have found themselves as targets. President Golike has been shot at numerous times. He escaped certain death when rebels tried to burn down his house but couldn't find gasoline. We raised many, many prayers for peace for this nation.
But all the motorcycles are gone. Now perhaps being used for nefarious purposes.
Some might say it was a waste of $30,000.
During the four years the LCCAR had these motorcycles, they were the ambulances for many sections of the country. They carried people to hospitals. They saved many, many lives. Their use accomplished much good.
And now, they are gone.
I am convinced that this is one of the reasons Jesus doesn't want us to get hung up on possessions. One day, all is well and good, but the next, they could be gone. If your life revolves around possessions, and suddenly they are taken away from you, you are devastated, broken, destroyed.
But if Jesus is at the center of your life, possessions are simply things to be used for a time. They are not the be all and end all of existence. They are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. They are tools to be used until they fulfill their purpose.
If something breaks...who cares?
If something is stolen...who cares?
If something is destroyed...who cares?
Things do not bring life.
Things do not bring happiness.
Things do not add value to our lives.
They just don't.
Christ accomplishes all of the above as He transforms your heart and lives at the center of your being.
That means more than anything--anything at all.
It's why President Golike and I didn't mourn the loss of the motorcycles, and it is why he was filled with hope that one day peace and reconciliation will return to the CAR.
And I loved what a congregation member told me this morning as he left church, "Let's not let it stop."
"What do you mean?"
"Let's not let it stop. If those motorcycles brought healing, let's make sure they get them again."
Sounds like a good use for another $30,000.