By Joe Slater
In 1978 Waylon Jennings had a hit song about the obscure central Texas town of Luckenbach (current population 13). The opening line of the song was: “The only two things in life that make it worth livin’ . . .” Then it proceeded to name those two things. The first was well-tuned guitars (or, to quote the song, “guitars that’s tuned good”). The second I will omit for reasons that are obvious to those familiar with the song.
As fine as well-tuned guitars might be, I submit the song’s writer had no idea what brings real value to life! However, I should credit him with at least realizing that happiness doesn’t result from great riches. One of the lines suggested to his wife that they sell her diamond rings, buy some boots and faded jeans, and go away. Another mentioned the failure of their big house with a four-car garage to bring contentment.
Jesus warned, “Take heed and beware of all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). To illustrate His point, He told the parable of the rich fool (vv. 16-21). That man had so much wealth stored away that he had to build larger facilities to store the current harvest! Does that sound like a problem you’d like to have? If so, think again! The rich fool’s focus on himself brought him nothing but condemnation.
“Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble” (Proverbs 15:16). The next verse follows up: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.”
Fear of the Lord and love: Those aren’t the only two things in life that make it worth living, but I’ll put them up against the two in the country song any day!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com