Recently, America witnessed a phenomenon that truly boggles the mind. I am referring of course to the Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis auction that was held at Sotheby's Galleries in New York this past April. This amazing event was sandwiched as it were amidst worldwide reports of tragedies and catastrophic upheavals of lives and property.
There played out on the evening news as well as CNN special news bulletins from time to time, an unbridled and blatant display of fiscal irresponsibilities. An incredible 40,000 people patiently stood in line for hours just to get a glimpse of, and perhaps the chance to bid on some of the 5,914 items that were for sale. Newsweek commented, "It didn't matter much that the art was mostly decorative rather than important and that the furniture was largely reproductions, and a few items (baskets for example) were not far removed from junk. This afore mentioned collection of baskets were pre-auction appraised at $150 to $200 but actually sold for $9,200. Newsweek went on to report that many were obviously swept away by a giddy rush—a momentary thrill that some seem to experience when spending large sums of money irresponsibly. There seemed, according to published reports to almost be a carnival spirit pervading the auction house. Even as some bidders wisely chose to drop out, others continued their bidding game, encouraged by enthusiastic clapping and cheering as prices soared higher and still higher.
As we now know, the prices paid far exceed everyone's wildest imagination including the professionals at Sothebys. It seemed that restraint and good sense seemed to have totally vanished. There were, for instance, three cushions that sold for $25,000, as well as a Tiffany's silver monogrammed tape measure that brought a winning bid of almost $50,000. Even a bundle of old magazines fetched a $12,000 price tag. When the "successful" bidders were asked why they had paid such outrageous sums of money they all without exception pronounced themselves deliriously happy to be bringing home a piece of history—a part of Camelot. They were willing to pay any price just to own something of Jackie O's.
As we shake our heads in unbelief while simultaneously patting ourselves on the back in self congratulation, we sanctimoniously declare that we would never indulge ourselves in such a selfish, wanton and irresponsible manner. If we are really honest, however, we probably have to admit to a few buying errors ourselves. We have succumbed more often than not to the message that relentlessly bombards us via magazines, billboards, and most of all the ad machine generally referred to as the TV. With clever, catchy tunes, and charming or amusing scenes we are fed a diet of smooth talk that urges us to "be good to yourself—you have earned it, you deserve it so what are you waiting for?" The world makes it so easy to want—to buy—to have. The main underlying message whether subtly or openly blatant tells us to have whatever it is they are selling to be happy. What price is your Camelot? Your piece of history?
We all must remember the timely counsel and perspective found in Matthew 6:19-21, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
I don't want just a piece of history. I want to invest in a piece of eternity. I have made a new determination to recommit my life and means for the promise of life everlasting. Of course I am looking forward to a beautiful mansion prepared especially for me, but most of all the thrilling opportunity of meeting my dear Jesus face to face. For 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither bath entered into the heart of man, the things which God bath prepared for them that love Him." I choose to make my winning bid for eternity, how about you?