During the last holidays I was at a Kayak shop down the coast with Mr. Young. We’d been fishing that morning – don’t ask me about the monster flathead I lost… In a last ditch effort to try to convince us to buy one of the kayaks, the salesman said “you know what they say: he who dies with the most toys wins!”. Mr Young responded straight away, “yeah, that’s what they say”. He was right. That is exactly what our culture says. It’s what advertisers say. It’s what our own hearts say, as we ponder the next big, or small ‘investment’ that we hope will finally bring us the joy that so often eludes us. 

But after a short pause, Mr. Young continued. “But you know what? He who dies with the most toys, still dies.” The salesman looked at us awkwardly as we headed out the door. Probably not the most uplifting thought he had heard that day. And yet you can’t argue with it!

This term in Chapel we’re looking at the book of Philippians from the New Testament, which deals with the theme of joy – and how we find true joy when we find Jesus. At one point in the book, the writer (Paul) says “I press on to reach the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us” (3:14). According to the Bible, there is a greater prize on offer than a collection of trophies, bank account and kayaks. There is the offer of heaven itself. 

Despite the numerous blessings I enjoy in life –  health, safety, family, friends, meaningful work – I can often feel like I’ve just had the entree and I’m still waiting for the main meal. Like those things were a great appetizer, but I need more. Perhaps that is because I was created for more – and that those things were never supposed to satisfy me. Perhaps – as the Bible says – we’ll only find true satisfaction when we know God and rest in the hope of eternal life with him. 

Mr Dan Odell