Who are we trying to impress?
What was billed as the world’s most expensive new book went on display in 2008 at the New York Public Library. There are more expensive old books, but this is a new book produced by the Italian publisher Marilena Ferrari. It costs more than $100,000! The book depicts the life and works of Michelangelo, including photographs of his drawings and sculptures, creations from the Sistine Chapel, and his personal poetry. The book weighs 62 pounds, has a front cover of white marble, and is covered with red silk velvet. Its paper is from one of Italy’s oldest paper mills, the same mill where Picasso bought his art paper. Each copy of this book takes six months to make, and comes with a 500-year warranty! More than 20 of the books have been sold to buyers around the world. What I need to know before I invest in one of these books, is the warranty transferable and if repairs are needed in 450 years, who is going to honor the warranty? Can it legally be called the Ferrari of books?
Having satellite TV has its advantages but lately I have to express my opinion on about half of the programming as redundant nonsense skirting the fringe of insanity. To call some of the “entertainment” sublimely ridiculous would actually be giving them a compliment, hence I bypass the circus for fools in favor of a little education, of which some must still be received with much scrutiny.
What really makes me wonder is, who are we (mankind) really trying to impress, when having to endure the commercials on TV about all the fountain of youth chemical concoctions available to the baby boomers that refuse to gracefully grow old. It brings to mind Californian Jack LaLanne, famed diet and exercise guru, who we expected to live to be at least 100. Pneumonia overcame the healthy Jack at 96 years. It seems most people today want to be 30 years old forever. Ain’t gonna happen, my friend. After one reads all the warnings and possibly fatal side effects of most of these elixirs, Jack’s way does appear to be a lot healthier in the long run. In the final analysis, what I conclude after listening to all those snake-oil sales is, a lot of folks are going to look healthy, lying in their coffin.
[Job 14; 1 Samuel 16:7; Isaiah 40:6-8] One day a lady had to show her driver’s license at a store for identification. She told the cashier, “Please don’t pay any attention to that picture, it’s awful! I guess that’s what I’ll look like when I’m dead.” Staring at the picture, the cashier said, “Oh, they’ll make you look a lot better than that!” We spend a lot of time worrying about our outward appearance, don’t we? And yet the most important thing about us is who we are on the inside. “...The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Do you clean and dress your inner being as well as your outer body? You can do that by practicing kindness and consideration, and remembering God in all that you do. What about nourishment for your inner being? For the spirit of man to be healthy it must be fed regularly with the truth of God’s Word. Other books are valuable because of their outward appearance, craftsmanship, quality of materials, and the time that goes into their production, but they will never surpass the value of God’s Word. Why? Because it is God’s inward appearance revelation of himself to man. Its warranty is forever. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31). God bless you and may he make you healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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