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serving jesus christ the king

Money to burn

(by Jonny McCollum)
You’re stranded on a ski lift over 30 feet in the air and night is approaching. No-one knows that you’re stuck, and you have no mobile phone. As night arrives the temperature plummets to -18 degrees and the situation seems hopeless. If you jump, you’ll probably break your legs and freeze to death; if you stay on the lift you face a battle against hypothermia. What would you do?

This is exactly the situation Dominik Podolsky, a German snowboarder faced in the Alps recently when the ski lift he was riding was shut down for the night. As the hours went by and his cries for help went unnoticed he tried a different method of communication – fire.

Mr Podolsky had a lighter and several paper handkerchiefs, which he burned in a bid to be spotted. No-one noticed. Next, he burned a series of restaurant bills and business cards, but to no avail. Finally, with his limbs beginning to go numb, and as he struggled to stay awake, he began to ignite the cash from his wallet.

Six hours after getting stuck, the 22 year old was eventually rescued, but not before the fire had consumed the last of his money.

His story had a happy ending, but it came at a cost. In order to ensure his survival, Mr Podolski had to make a difficult sacrifice. If you were in his situation, could you bring yourself to burn your hard earned cash?

Of course you could! 120 euro is a small price to pay for life. All of us would take the steps this snowboarder took, because only a fool would value their wallet above their life.

But maybe we’re not as rational as we like to think. According to the Bible, we’re stuck, night is fast approaching, and doom is imminent. Yet the hope of life is held out – but often we miss it. Why? Partly because we value other things too highly. Our problem is that we have put ourselves and our interests above God. We need to reverse that and accept the offer of forgiveness that Jesus holds out.

The offer Jesus makes is literally a matter of life and death, yet it can be crowded out by the busyness of life. It’s a real tragedy that many never give this offer the consideration it deserves.

Perhaps we can value our wallets (or anything else) above our lives after all.