“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
As it opened its doors welcoming retail tenants and shoppers in 1968, The Vernon Park Mall was the pride of the East. As the first shopping mall east of Raleigh, in the rural farming town of Kinston, North Carolina, the mall bustled with commerce as folks drove from miles around to walk the corridors, shop the stores and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Many a shop owner and entrepreneur took out loans and invested their capital with the hope of making a mint. As a kid in the 1970’s, I can remember walking through that mall with my parents and then, in the late 70’s and 80’s, witnessing the expansions and revisions take place. In those days, “going to the mall” was the thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night.
As seasons and shopping trends change, sadly today the mall stands as a vacant shadow of what it once was. Spanning over thirty acres of prime commercial real-estate the mall now sits dark and dim, leaving behind only distant memories of a once booming enterprise and shopping destination.
It’s just a simple fact of life, that no matter how successful something may be in the moment, it all comes to an end at some point in the future. Nothing in this world or life lasts forever, except, that is, for our Heavenly Father. Paul tells us in Colossians 2:7 that we can build our lives on something that is sure and guaranteed to outlast the times, trends and seasons, and that something is actually Someone.
In 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah make his way out into Elisha’s “field of familiar” and call Elisha to a life of following God and His plan for Elisha’s life. Then and there Elisha knew that his future was no longer in farming, but instead in following God’s call for the rest of his life. Thus, he burned the plows and cooked the oxen as his own way of “burring the ships” and leaving the past behind.
Today, let’s be reminded to keep a singular focus on Him, while building our lives and hopes on Someone who will never fade away.