“Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them. Though while they live, they count themselves blessed—and people praise you when you prosper— they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life.” (Psalm 49:16-19)
I work at a faith-based hospital and before the start of each shift, we share a devotion. Of all the things I appreciate about my workplace, the moments of devotion are one of them. It is a likened to the calm before the storm known as the ‘shift’ and ‘patient care’. One devotional thought that echoes in my mind, especially in the atmosphere of COVID-19 and the protests against police brutality and racial inequality, are the words of Francis of Assisi: “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received—only what you have given”. These words mirror what King David said in Psalm 49:16-19 (stated above). Often, we strive on this Earth for possessions, self-ambition, and even place the values of our lives above other human beings without taking a moment to realize that our “now” is only a drop in what is eternity.
As a nurse, I have seen all kinds of people in situations they never anticipated they would be in. My patients are different ethnicities, races, and come from different walks of life. My patients are police officers, postal service workers, healthcare workers, farmers, college students, and the list goes on. But they all share one commonality: sickness. The stark reality is regardless of our complexion, our profession, and even our character, we will somehow, or another end up at this one place. It is quite ironic that the things we fear and despise in life teach us the greatest lessons, and in fact, they are the best teachers in life. God sure does have a sense of humor.
So, what is the message? What is it that we need to learn? What I have come to understand is that what you stand for, and your actions mean more in life than how much or how little money you possessed. When all is said and done and you stand before God, the righteous Judge, what evidence will stand before Him? Will He see the hatred and chaos you forced upon the world? Or the teachings of Jesus personified in your life? It is your decision on how you want to write your life’s narrative. So, what will it be?