Rich for a Moment

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
A ship was sinking off the coast of South America. Part of its cargo was a large shipment of Spanish coins. In the hope of saving some of them, a number of boxes were brought on deck, but the ship was sinking so fast that the sailors soon realized their only hope for life was to abandon everything and take at once to the boats. The last lifeboat was about to push off when one young sailor rushed back to see if anyone was still on board. To his surprise, he found a man on deck with a hatchet in his hand. He had chopped open several of the boxes and was busily heaping the coins around himself. "What are you doing?" shouted the sailor. "Don't you know the ship is breaking up fast?"The ship may," said the man; "I have lived a poor man all my life and I'm determined to die rich!" The sailor's frantic pleas were answered only by another flourish of the hatchet, and he had to be left to his fate.
Moments after the lifeboat pulled away to safety, the ship was engulfed in the waves and the man—rich for a moment—went down with it.
We consider such a man insane, but he has too many imitators. Many men seem determined to die rich at all hazards. Least of all risks do they count the chance of losing their own soul in the struggle. The only riches we can claim with joy in our dying hour are the riches of grace through faith in our only Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us make these riches ours before the dark hour comes.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:3636For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36).