The Same Box
The Italians have a proverb that says, “Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.” Life, for many people, has turned into an endless quest to gain more of what the world can provide. When attempting to buy happiness, many people have found themselves thrown into the pit of despair.
Following the latest electronic crazes, we have also found ourselves spending billions of dollars just to be left in debt and eventually dissatisfied. Seeking popularity and acceptance, we have sidestepped our code of morality and given into the surrounding pressures. Seeking wealth, we have tossed character out of the window.
An endless pursuit of more leaves a person with nothing but an agonizing life of discontent. As the Italian proverb states, we all end up in the same box. Jesus took this a step further when He said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26).
Living just for oneself inevitably leads to disappointment and loneliness. Selfishness never satisfies. Knowing that the same box awaits us all—and that nothing can be taken along with us when we enter it—should cause us to pause and consider the legacies of our lives.
In the end, no one will remember how much money was in our bank accounts. In the end, our offices will be filled by other people, and life will go on. In the end, rich and poor people, CEOs and custodians, the famous and the unknown will all end up in the same box. The differences between them are made by what they live for and what legacies they determine to leave.
As Jesus said, we can have this world if we choose. However, forfeiting ourselves for what this world can give is a costly mistake that many people make. What if we gave up our acceptance in this world for the acceptance of God? What if we gave up the dream house here for a spot in the neighborhood where the streets are gold? What if we gave up our “rights” for the sake of someone else?
We all end up in the same box anyway.