Just Passing Through

by | May 22, 2005 | Eternity, Priorities, Treasure

The story is told of an American tourist who visited the 19th century Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim. Astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books, plus a table and a bench, the tourist asked, “Rabbi, where is your furniture?”

“Where is yours?” Replied the rabbi.

“Mine?” Asked the puzzled American. “But I’m a visitor here. I’m only passing through.”

“So am I,” said Hofetz Chaim.

What a difference it would make in our lives in we truly had the perspective that we sometimes sing: “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.” Tomorrow morning, I will be leaving town for five days. I will pack one suitcase and will take with me very few essential items. I will not take my furniture with me. I will not take any stereo equipment. I will definitely not take a lawn mower. I understand the difference between staying in a hotel for a short length of time and establishing a permanent residency.

But, by the looks of things, it appears that many people (including those of us who are Christians) haven’t yet learned the difference. We accumulate stuff as if this world is going to be our permanent dwelling. It was a mistake that the patriarchs of old didn’t make. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all freely “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth.” (Heb. 11:13). We need to develop the same mentality. If we understand that our home is somewhere else, then we will view “things” differently.

Jesus put it this way: “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or – worse! – stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matthew 6:19-21, The Message)

Read verse 21 again carefully and slowly — “The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” Where are your treasures? Are you just passing through, or have you set up a “permanent” residency?

Alan Smith alansmith.servant@gmail.com


Just Passing Through