My children have taught me so much.
One of the greatest lessons of my life that I’m still learning came from playing with them a computer game called Minecraft.
Minecraft is like a digital version of the toy building blocks I grew up with as a kid called Legos. But, rather than building an object as you would with Legos, in Minecraft an entire world is generated on the computer that you can build and exist within.
It was a place you could both explore and shape to your vision with resources made available from within the game: wood, stone, metals, gems, crops, animals, etc.. You were only limited by your ambition, your imagination and your computer’s computational power.
We built grand houses and whole villages. We went on adventures spanning great distances across different biomes (green forests, snowy mountains, sandy beaches). We even built machines that automated processes such as harvesting animals into food. We explored and mined vast, dangerous caves to stock our chests with materials and priceless treasure to expand our builds or to use in our next adventure.
Among the heights of items sought after were enchanted diamond tools, weapons and armor. These items were coveted because if you had them, you could practically get anything else. I never achieved this feat, but my much more skilled boys did. It took exorbitant amounts of time, exploration, and great risk to collect all the items required.
We spent hours, sometimes days or weeks building or learning to build our Minecraft world. We even had our own private hosted server (before Microsoft Realms was available) called Blockhaven.
Today, we don’t know where any of that stuff is. The server has been shutdown. The great houses, territories, troves of diamonds, lapis lazuli, ender pearls, the wonderful inventions we worked so hard and invested real time (even real tears were shed) to achieve are all gone. Even many of the memories have faded away. But, the things that remain are the relationships we built and the closeness we developed. They are forever.
Therein is the lesson.
What we learn, what we do, what we achieve, what we build only matters to the extent of what it builds in and establishes with others.
What we build in and establish with others makes everything matter, whether we’re a potato peeler or a Nobel prize winning nuclear physicist. Without it, nothing matters whether we’re a potato peeler or a Nobel prize winning nuclear physicist.
One day, this server that we exist in will be shutdown.
Consider 2 Peter 3:11-12,
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
And, Hebrews 12:27,
“Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
But, for those in Christ, we focus on what cannot be shaken —the eternal.
“While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.””
—2 Corinthians 4:18
What is eternal? What cannot be shaken? What can survive the fervent, purifying fire of the coming day of God?
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
What is eternal, what cannot be shaken, what can survive the fervent, purifying fire of the day of God? Life —to be of the same kind of fire as the coming fire of the day of God, us being set ablaze by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
—1 John 4:17
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”
The time you get to work does not matter,
That report does not matter,
That money does not matter,
That elite, grand achievement does not matter,
That world changing discovery or breakthrough does not matter in or of itself.
It only matters to the extent of how its done or how its used to build in and establishes with others something eternal.
This is why it is written in Colossians 3:23,
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”
Today, I implore us to believe Jesus so we can truly see what matters: what we build in and establish with others; the only thing that is eternal —relationships and closeness developed in Christ.