Have you ever been somewhere before and tried to imagine who all else has been there ahead of you? See, I do that sometimes. I often think that it would be neat to see or know who all had been in a particular location. Sometimes, I try to imagine who all else might have been down a particular road or path that I am on. Who else has enjoyed the view of a particular field of flowers that I might see?
I have a weird fascination with old, abandoned buildings. I have recently discovered that my daughter, Sydney, is the same way. We have started watching a Youtube show called Abandoned that we are completely intrigued with. This show visits everything from amusement parks to restaurants to shopping centers. What do they all have in common? You guessed it. They are empty and forgotten.
I watch these videos and I think to myself, “At one point, all of these places were exciting and new. People lived there or they shopped at this location.” Nobody looked down the road anticipating that, at some point, this building would be empty and falling apart.
A large part of my wife and I’s family lives in the St. Louis area so we go there pretty frequently to visit. As you cross the Mississippi River into the city from Illinois and head north, you will encounter empty building after empty building. Grafitti covers the walls. Many of them look like they have been burned out at some point. The one thing they all have in common….
Time has passed them by. Nobody comes to these places anymore. Nobody works here. There are no customers to these buildings that, at some point, housed stores. The city continues to thrive in other places but here…. nothing.
That leads me to this thought.
What are we building here? What is our measure of success? Do we find success in the number of buildings that we build? Do we find it in a number of jobs we create? Is it in the wealth we accumulate? While these things are all fine (even these abandoned buildings are a monument to something), they are not forever.
Now, I’m a believer and what I mean by that is that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I try not to make this blog all religious and preachy as I feel that my greatest testimony is found in how I live my life, not in what I say. However, today’s post is a reminder to myself that everything I build will eventually be put to test. Matthew 6:19 says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (NIV)
I am fascinated by what society has left behind but it is a constant reminder to me of this verse. These broken down buildings and forgotten places represent something so much more than lost opportunities. Ultimately, they represent us. What are our priorities in life? What do we invest ourselves in? Some people get it. There is something outside of ourselves that is more important in life. Many people never learn that lesson. I know where I have stored up my treasures.