What Is Really Important

Answer for Students
Unit 12 - The Sermon on the Mount

TEXT: Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:13-21

Ellie was excited that she had finally saved enough money for a new bike, but events that followed made her reconsider.

“One hundred forty-eight, forty-nine, and fifty!” Triumphantly, Ellie laid the last dollar bill on the stack in front of her. “I’ve finally got enough, Dad!”

Her dad smiled. “You’ve worked hard to save for that bike, Ellie. Tomorrow, right after school, I’ll pick you up and we’ll head over to the bike shop.”

During the next few weeks, Ellie spent every spare minute on her new cruiser bike. All those months of saving her allowance, taking every babysitting job that came her way, and doing odd jobs for the neighbors had finally paid off. She had her bike and she loved it!

But just two months to the day after she bought the bike all her delight came to an end.

The bike disappeared.

During the night, someone had cut through the chain that fastened the bike to the porch rail, and when Ellie came out in the morning, the bike was gone. She could hardly believe it! They notified the police, and then Ellie and her dad spent the afternoon driving up and down the streets looking for it—but to no avail.

“We’ll drive around some more on Monday, Hon,” Ellie’s dad finally told her. “Maybe whoever has it will have had their fun by then and will leave it somewhere.”

At first it seemed as though their search on Monday was going to be fruitless too. But then, driving south of the area they had covered on Saturday, Ellie spotted something.

“Could that be . . . yeah, I think it is, Dad!” Ellie pointed to the backyard of an old brick building. Her dad headed the pickup into the lot. A minute later Ellie stood looking down at her once shiny cruiser bike, now lying in a ruined heap of twisted fenders, bent handlebars, and flattened tires. Even the seat was slashed.

Anguish welled up inside her. Who in the world would have wrecked her beautiful bike like this? And after all she had gone through to get it!

A short time later, Ellie’s dad carried the mangled bike down to his basement workshop. “It really is a shame, Ellie,” he said as he began working on the twisted frame. “You worked long and hard to save up enough for your bike.”

“Yeah, and after only two months, this happens!” Ellie agreed, frustration edging her voice. She turned away abruptly to hide the tears that threatened to spill over.

Upstairs, Ellie noticed the family computer on the desk, still open to the article about Mr. Jones’ death. Years before, Ellie’s dad had worked for this man who left behind a fortune in art treasures and other investments. She remembered her dad’s words at the breakfast table this morning.

“Gerald Jones worked hard for the things of this life—fine homes, the best automobiles, fabulous art collections. More than once I heard his friends tell him to slow down, that he couldn’t take it with him. Now he’s gone, and all his treasures are left behind. I wonder how important those things seem out in eternity?”

Mom and Dad had gone on to talk about priorities—how important it is, even when young, to take time for church and the things of God. Then we can be sure our most valuable treasures will be in Heaven.

Slumped on the couch, Ellie listened to the muffled sounds coming from the workshop below. Could her cruiser bike ever again look like the treasure it had been when she bought it? Her eyes strayed back to the computer and the article. Treasure . . . had a bicycle meant that much to her?

Ellie sat there for a long time, deep in thought. At last she went slowly back down to the basement.

“Dad, I’ve been thinking about Mr. Jones, and my bike, and my priorities, and treasures in Heaven . . .”

Her dad looked up with a slight smile. “That’s a lot to think about, Honey.”

“I still feel bad about my cruiser bike, Dad,” Ellie smiled back. “But after all, I can’t take it with me!”