Keeping Our Eyes on Eternity

There’s a story in the Gospels where a rich young man comes to Jesus and asks him what good deed he needs to do to have eternal life. Jesus told him if he wanted to have eternal life he needed to keep the commandments. The young man told Jesus he had kept all the commandments, and he asked what he was still lacking. Jesus had this to say to him:
If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. – Matthew 19:21
Unfortunately, the story goes that when the young man heard what Jesus said, he went away sad because he had great possessions. He said he wanted eternal life, but when it came down to it, it seems he wanted his stuff more. His question made it seem like his eyes were set on eternity, but his response to Jesus’ invitation shows his eyes were really set on the things of this world.
When he went away, Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:23
Earthly possessions have a tricky way of tearing our gaze away from eternity. If we’re not careful, we might find ourselves, like this rich young man, walking away from Jesus and the life he offers us. This story is such a powerful reminder to us that we must keep a loose grip on worldly things so that eternal things won’t slip from our grasp.