CNN featured a story today (found HERE) about billionaire Richard Branson and actress Kate Winslet. Over the weekend Branson hosted family and some friends (including Winslet and her family) at his home on a private island in the British Virgin Islands. According to the article, the fire was started by a lighting-strike and the entire house burned down.
The story quote Kate Winslet saying, “I will never forget Richard placing his arms around both my children as we were watching the flames, and saying, ‘At the end of the day, what you realize is that all that matters is the people that you love. Everything else is just stuff. And none of that stuff matters.'”
At the risk of trivializing what a terrifying experience this must have been for those involved, I think there’s something here for each of us to remember. It’s so easy for us to start focusing on stuff, this serves as a wonderful reminder because Branson is mostly right. I’d include our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ as what ultimately matters, then I would agree with what Branson says.
As Jesus said, “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, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Just a few days ago our youth Bible Study was on this very topic and I asked for a list of different things that teenagers often set up as “Treasures,” here’s the list the students gave:
- Game Systems
- Status & Popularity
- Parents’ Stuff (taking pride in your dad’s sweet car, or how big your house is, or whatever… even though they aren’t “yours”)