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February 18, 2014

It all Goes Back into the Box

My grandmother is a wonderful person; she taught me how to play the game Monopoly. She understood the name of the game was to acquire. She would accumulate everything she could and eventually she became master of the board, and in every game she would take my last dollar and I would quit in utter defeat. And then she would always say the same thing to me... She would look at me and she would say, "One day you will learn to play the game."

One summer I played monopoly with a neighbor. We played almost every day, all day long; we would play monopoly for hours. And that summer I learned to play the game... I understood the only way to win was to make a complete commitment to acquisition, I came to understand that money and possessions were the way that you keep score. And by the end of that summer I was more ruthless than my grandmother. I was ready to bend the rules if I had to, to win that game. I sat down with her to play that winter. I took everything she had, I destroyed her financially, psychologically, and watched her give her last pound and quit in utter defeat.

And then she had one more thing to teach me... Then she said, "Now it all goes back in the box..." "All those houses and hotels, all the railroads and utility companies, all that property and all that wonderful money...and now it all goes back in the box" I didn't want it to go back in the box. She said none of it was really yours. You got yourself all heated up for a while, but it was around a long time before you sat down at the board and it will be here after you have gone.

Players come and players go, but it all goes back in the box; houses and cars, titles and clothes, even your body. Because the fact is everything I clutch and consume and hold is going to go back in the box and I'm going to lose it all.... You have to ask yourself when you get that ultimate promotion, make the ultimate purchase, when you buy the ultimate home, when you have stored up financial security, when you have climbed the ladder to the highest point of success...and the thrill wears off ...and it will wear off... Then what?

 How long do you have to walk down that road before you see where it leads? Surely you understand it will never be enough, so ask yourself the question-What matters...?

John Ortberg
Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501
(870) 793-9124
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