What’s most important to you?
In a rare and extreme move, the famous Louvre gallery in Paris shut its doors today, due to fear of flood damage.
With the whole city under threat from rising waters, the Louvre didn’t open to the public — so that priceless and revered artworks could be moved from underground storage to higher ground.
No doubt the artworks are important to a lot of people around the world, thanks to their cultural and creative significance.
But what’s important to you?
With wild weather set to hit Australia’s east coast this month, imagine your house was rapidly being submerged like the Louvre.
What would you be rushing to save? What would you definitely have to move to higher ground?
Can’t take it with you
Applying the Louvre situation to our own home offers some diagnosis about what we hold nearest and dearest.
Whatever it is that we thought we would rescue from our flooding home, how would we feel if we didn’t save it? What if we lost that important thing to the rising water, like some high-profile piece of art that isn’t evacuated from the Louvre?
Could we recover? Could we move forward? Can we picture life without that important thing?
I’m not raising this potential heartbreak for the fun of it. It’s a valuable exercise to really challenge ourselves about what we hold to be most important. Because one of the harsh realities of life is, like the Louvre’s collection, important things may slip from our grasp.
Worse, we all will ultimately lose everything we have, just like the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes describes about a wealthy bloke: “As he came from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came; he will take nothing for his efforts that he can carry in his hands.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)
Yes, that is describing some rich guy. But we all know it also describes every single one of us.
When we die, we take absolutely nothing with us. How depressing.
But, before we sink into an ocean of despair, cheer up.
There is hope
There is actually something important that is available to us and will never perish or spoil or fade. And we can collect it on the other side of this life.
“According to God’s great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)
Waiting for us after death is the “living hope” of salvation in Jesus (1 Peter 1:5). Unlike the Louvre or our homes, that “living hope” is an inheritance that cannot be lost to those who give their lives now to Jesus.
Whenever floods or anything else threaten to take away our important things, what difference might this “living hope” make to us?