The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






A Matter Of Faith

Moths, Thieves & Rust

by Joel Lawler

As I write this, I am a week away from leaving my current job. I have been at this job for about a year. I have done a lot of work and been involved in a lot of projects. I will walk away from it and leave it to someone else to take over. Over the next few months, my contributions will be replaced. In about a year, very little of what I have done will remain.

I take my job seriously and make great effort to be productive and contribute to my employer. I work hard and try to always exceed expectations.

As a software developer there is the fact that what I do has a short shelf life. Things change in technology at a very rapid pace. What is new today is outdated tomorrow.

The fact remains, everything I have done will be eventually gone.

I will start the cycle all over again at another employer.

What I accomplish at the new job will also eventually be gone.

I was traveling down I-24 just outside of Chattanooga. There is a stretch of the road that leaves Tennessee and goes into Georgia. It then comes back into Tennessee. If it were not for the signs, I could not tell you which state I am in. The borders do not really exist. They were decided by a committee somewhere. Many people have an emotional attachment to the state they live in. The fact is, these states are temporary. These borders will most likely be erased someday just as the borders before them were. Someone else will decide what this chunk of land is called, where it starts and where it ends. Time will take it through the cycle and it will all get redrawn again.

Many of the things that we get attached to have a shelf life.

We have a shelf life.

The great news is that we also have a life beyond this one.

We can invest our lives into things that will carry on long after we have departed.

Jesus gives us hope. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

We have been called to be at the work of building God's kingdom right here and now. We have an incredible gift in our ability to love others. Regardless of time, culture or geographic region, there has always been a need for people to love others well.

God has created you with unique gifts and abilities to bring about his kingdom on Earth. Rick McKinley In his book A Kingdom Called Desire says, "You are a powerful force of the kingdom, made for a king and offered to the world." 

We have meaningful and purposeful work to do. We have a unique calling to create things that do not get overwritten or have a shelf life. Work, that when done out of love for God and others, has eternal rewards.

Jesus, when he spoke of the destiny of the church (which is us), he said that "the gates of Hell would not prevail against it."  This is not a defensive position. This is a call to take the light to the dark. It is a call to actively, intentionally and passionately be about the mission of the telling the good news of the love of God and the hope we have in him.

Jobs, possessions, borders and countries will all fall away and are temporary.  The kingdom of God is eternal and we have a role in building it here and now.


Joel Lawler