I had no idea how expensive frozen yogurt could be until recently. We received a buy one, get one free coupon in the mail, so we took the kids on what we thought would be a low-cost excursion. “Fill your cups with whatever flavors and toppings your little hearts desire,” I told them. The sign above the register said it was only $5 per cup, and with the coupon it seemed a reasonable deal for all you can eat froyo.
The kids had no trouble obliging, filling their cups to overflowing with an interesting mix of ingredients. It was all good and fun until we got to the cash register. “Place the cups on the scale, ma’am,” the cashier ordered. When she read the final cost, I couldn’t help but ask if she was joking. It turns out they charged per ounce. That $5 per cup sign? It was for an empty, take-home souvenir cup. The final cost for our order, including the coupon, could have bought us a few gallons from the grocery store.
While I recovered from sticker-shock, the kids enjoyed their small taste of heaven. A few bites in they were complaining of tummy-aches. A few minutes, later, we were heading home.
Our experience got me thinking of how temporary everything is on this earth. The good and the bad. The painful and the enjoyable. Everything is fleeting. Even the best of life fails to merit our investment.
The temporal nature of things can be a little depressing. Why can’t what’s good last a little longer? Why can’t it equal the price we pay for the enjoyment?
It helps to remember that this is not our ultimate home. All the good we encounter here is but a taste of greater things to come. And the pain? It’s but a passing reminder that our heavenly treasure is held in jars of clay.
If it seems life’s not worth living due to the fleeting nature of good, take heart. If it seems not worth the effort to live another day because all your investment yields little return, keep in mind. We’re not home yet.
When we follow Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life, we have hope of eternal life in heaven, where there’s “no more death, mourning, crying, or pain.” The best things on earth are mere shadows of the best things of heaven. From a spoonful of your favorite frozen yogurt to a vacation at the most beautiful destination you can imagine, nothing can compare to the everlasting perfection of heaven. Nothing here will last, but all points us toward the things that do.
Receive every small blessing as a taste of the promise of our final home. Let every investment we make be for those things that truly last. And may the hope of heaven penetrate our hearts with purpose, the constant cognizance that if we have breath, there is reason to live.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
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