Sooner or later our souls will return to their Maker. And the things you have stored up—whose will they be? This was the realization that tormented Solomon: “I hated all the things10 I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.” “The executive who works from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day will be both very successful and fondly remembered by his wife’s next husband,” author John Capozzi11 writes, and he could be speaking about our man.
Lisa Rogak12 is the author of a book called Death Warmed Over, a combination cookbook and sociological study of funeral meals and rituals. She starts it with the story of a man dying at home in bed. He could smell the aroma of chocolate chip cookies—his favorite—baking downstairs. He wanted one more cookie before he died.
He dragged his body out of bed, rolled down the stairs, crawled into the kitchen, and reached out a trembling arm to grasp one final cookie, when he felt the sting of a spatula smack his hand. “Put that back,” his wife said. “They’re for the funeral.”
The rich fool had many cookies, and he thought they were all for him. “This is what I’ll do,” says the rich fool. “I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” One more barn. One more crop. One more cookie. Then one night out comes the spatula. Whack. “They don’t belong to you. They’re for the funeral.”
Ask not for whom the spatula whacks. It whacks for thee.
John Ortberg, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
We have just released a new Bible Study based on John Ortberg’s Book, When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box, by John Ortberg.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Chapters 1 – 2
Learn Rule #1
Be Rich Toward God
Chapters 3 – 4
Three Ways to Keep Score
Master the Inner Game
Chapters 5 – 6; Untie Your Ropes
Resign as Master of the Board
Chapters 7 – 9
No One Else Can Take Your Turn
Remember Your Stuff Isn’t Yours
Chapters 10 – 11
Play by the Rules
Fill Each Square with What Matters Most
Chapters 12 – 14
Roll the Dice
Play with Gratitude
Find Your Mission
Chapters 15, 16
Beware the Shadow Mission
Two Cheers for Competition
Chapters 17 – 19
More Will Never Be Enough
Winning Alone Is Called Losing
Be the Kind of Player People Want to Sit Next To
Chapters 20 – 21
Collect the Right Trophies
The King Has One More Move