Most have probably heard about the proverbial donkey who was tricked into moving by having a carrot dangled just in front of its face. This well illustrates the enticements that get us to chase riches, a better job, a more prominent “name” for ourselves. But there is another issue for those who claim to know God.
Typically when a donkey owner uses the carrot it is to get the donkey to move so the owner can get to where he wants. But what would happen if the owner leaves the donkey for a moment and the animal wanders off by itself? Now the donkey is completely focused on that carrot, so it pays no attention to where it is going. After a while, it grows tired. It still hasn’t gotten the carrot and now it is completely lost. This aptly pictures the man who, after chasing whatever captured his interest, may find he never really reached the state of satisfaction that he wanted and now is spiritually lost.
There is nothing wrong with having money, “climbing the ladder,” or having fame. But as the Bible warns us, “know that the true God will bring you into judgment for all these things.” (Ecc.11:9) One feature of that judgment was how much we paid attention to our relationship with God. Did God take a “back seat” to our pursuits such as in the case of Jesus’ illustration linked earlier from Luke 12?