Brian Jones wrote that when he was a kid, the city where he lived hosted an annual Easter egg hunt at a park down the street from his house. One year as he stood at the starting line, he spotted, off in the distance, the gold egg. Each year the officials of the event placed one large, glistening golden egg in each age group's section of the hunt. The child who discovered it would triumphantly claim a large prize in front of all the other kids. Well, this was his year. He, alone, had seen the golden egg, tucked underneath the right-field fence on baseball diamond number four. When the gun went off, he ran with all his might past all the eggs lying in the field, not wanting to pick any up and slow himself down. He blew past his friends and eventually reached the fence, winded and sweaty. When he bent down to grab his prize, he couldn't believe his eyes; his golden egg had turned into a shiny candy wrapper! All along it had been an illusion. He was crushed. He turned around and looked back across the field. By that time all the other eggs were gone. He walked home that day without a single Easter egg in his basket.
Someone has said that as we grow older, the games we play don't change, they just become more expensive. In our culture people are consumed with finding the golden egg. I know I struggle with this pursuit at times. What's interesting about golden eggs is that they differ for each person. For some of us, the golden egg is our body. We're consumed with looking great and will do anything, pay anything, add anything, and cut anything to get it. For others, the gold egg is money. We're consumed with becoming the next Bill Gates.
For others, the golden egg is STUFF -- cars, boats, homes, clothes, jewelry, vacations. Recently, Oprah Winfrey busied herself redesigning a home in Montecito, California, larger than her ninety-seven hundred square foot home in Chicago. Her new fifty-million dollar, twenty-three thousand square foot home is located on forty plus acres complete with an additional guest house, gatehouse, two ponds, and a lake. Maybe that's the golden egg for some of us -- to live in a home the size of a small eastern European country.
Whatever the golden egg is, God tells us it's an illusion; it isn't real. Not that some people won't find their golden egg eventually. It's just that when they do, it won't deliver the blissful happiness they want it to deliver.
New Year's is a time for resolutions. Some people make them and some people don't. Stats indicate that most people who make them don't keep them. Nevertheless, I have nothing against resolutions. I think God wants us to resolve to follow and obey him every day. At the same time, I think that New Year's is a natural time to do some reflection. What is the golden egg we're chasing? What is important to us? What should be important and what should not be important.
I want us to ask and answer ...
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