And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
This rich man had a focus on his riches. His life revolved around the stuff that he had. All of his effort was spent on harvesting his crops and storing them up. His work was to build even bigger barns so he could keep what he had somewhere for a long time. The goal was to have more. The prize he sought was having so much that he could take his ease and not have to worry about anything else. Being rich was what defined his whole life.
Besides his focus on riches, though, he was also focused on himself. He didn’t see an opportunity to give, but to keep. He didn’t want to bless others, but to take his ease. He didn’t consider the needs of others, but saw a chance to consume more himself. Too much of an “I’ve got mine” attitude leads to self-focus and selfishness, and God calls him a fool for living that way.
But what is the focus of our lives? It doesn’t have to be just riches for it to be something foolish. It doesn’t have to be at the same level as this rich man’s obsession for it to be something that is harmful to our lives. The point was that those things he was so focused on were just going to be left behind. No matter how much he accumulated, no matter how big his barns, no matter how long he could take his ease, all of those things he had would be left behind when he left this world. They wouldn’t do him any good. It wouldn’t matter how rich he was when his soul passed on to eternity.
The truth is, we really only have one short life to live on this earth. And we are not here to live for ourselves and to accumulate all that we can and to make the most of all that this world has to offer. The foolish way to live is to only be concerned with the things we have here. It is important to do our work and make a living and provide for ourselves and our families, but it is not the most important thing. Let’s not spend our lives living for only what we can have here, but live with a focus on the life yet to come and the God who we serve.