Jesus told a parable of two men, in Matthew chapter 7: 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Such wisdom as was shown by the builder with deep foundations is also reflected in Proverbs 24:3-4, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
We often put our trust in things that can’t deliver. The lottery, get rich schemes, or even our own efforts. These are all figurative sand to build on. Face it, the chance of a substantial lottery win is over 13 million to one, and your effort will only go so far, there is one of you and only 24 hours in a day. Jesus pointed out that real security comes from a different place.
In the last few years I have faced the loss of a child, a heart attack, and my wife’s cancer. No lottery, or entrepreneurial triumph will impact these. It is a matter of getting priorities straight. Is our temporal, immediate “good” really that important? I recall a homily I heard decades ago given by a priest who had been a fairly accomplished football player while at a Catholic university. In a “big” game, he dropped a pass just outside the end zone. While many of his team-mates were very unimpressed, one of his coaches (a priest) remarked to him in his dejected state, “What does it matter in eternity?” Enough said.