Wisdom or real estate?

Harold Kusher tells the Hasidic story of a man who got a telegram. It told him that a relative had died and left him some valuable property. He had to contact a rabbi for details. 

When he did so he was told that the relative was Moses and the valuable property was his religious tradition. 

“And much of the time,” Kushner explains, people react in a way that is similar to how the man reacted in the story: “disappointed that their legacy was religious wisdom and not downtown real estate.”*

You’re right. They probably shouldn’t have tricked the poor guy! But the point remains: we tend to value the wrong things. Not always, but often. At the end of our lives what will we regret? Not having more stuff, or not spending our days in the grace, truth and wisdom of God?

I sometimes wonder how many people lie on their death bed wishing they had heeded Jesus’ words sooner? “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…” (Matthew 6:19-20)

If you’re reading or listening to this, there’s still time!

Focus on what matters. Try not to stress about things that don’t. Value what has eternal value, not what thieves can steal and time can rust.

What are you up to today?

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.


–*Harold Kushner, Who Needs God? (Fireside: New York, 1989), 10.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV. 

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