Not many people can claim they have ruled the world. However, three men have ruled every territory that was known at the time they lived:
the Greek – Alexander the Great
the Roman – Julius Caesar
the French – Charlemagne.
I’m sure that a few of us want to know, “What’s the view like from the top?”
Alexander the Great was partying after a huge military victory and suddenly fell ill and died within ten days.
Julius Caesar was murdered by his trusted associates and best friend.
Charlemagne, in spite of all his weaknesses, ruled well and his subjects loved him. He died of natural causes, but when he was buried, he was placed in his sepulcher sitting upright on his throne. By his decree, a Bible was placed beside him with his index finger pointing to a single verse of Scripture. “What was the Scripture, you ask?” It was the words of Jesus: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Many of us think that true significance in life comes by what a man has accumulated or has accomplished:
– winning the World Series or the Super Bowl
– being selected as new artist of the year
All are big deals at the time, but who can name the team who won 10 years ago? Who was the most valuable player four years ago? What group received the award for album of the year seven years ago? It seemed so very important at the time but now most of us can’t even remember who won.
If we really understood how quickly life passes for all of us, and how little time we have to enjoy the things we have exchanged our life for, would we be spending as much time as we do acquiring things and seeking recognition?
It seems that today many people are climbing the ladder of success to one day learn that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. Much to their surprise they didn’t get where they thought they were going. Someone made this observation, “Many people know how to make a living, but so few know how to make a life.”
It is said that Alexander the Great instructed his advisors that when he died to cut two holes in the top of his coffin and stick his hands out through the holes so that all could see that he carried nothing out of this world. It’s true. You’ll never see a U-Haul trailer being pulled by a funeral coach!
On the day of my death, it will not matter how many people knew my name, how much money I earned in my lifetime, or how many honors that my peers bestowed upon me. The only thing that will matter on the day of my death is my relationship with Jesus Christ. We must never forget the words of Christ in Mark 8:36,
What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Mark 8:36)