Nicky Gumbel tells the story of a funeral he once did for a woman who used to live on the streets of London. She was a homeless person who would walk around with a shopping trolley and plastic bags, collecting rubbish and carrying it around with her wherever she went. Apparently this woman was also quite aggressive to people, always asking for money and being quite rude… and so naturally, Nicky expected that there wouldn’t be many people at her funeral.
However, as it turned out, this woman was actually very rich! She’d been homeless most of her life, but just a few years earlier had inherited a huge fortune! She owned a flat in Pont Street (the most expensive part of town), and she owned several valuable paintings as well.
When it came time for the funeral, Nicky very quickly noticed that “where there’s a will, there are relatives!” – there were second cousins from Australia; all kinds of people came to this funeral, all hoping to get a piece of the fortune. But Nicky just couldn’t understand it all – “Why would someone who had all that money choose to live on the streets with all their rubbish?”
But as one of the relatives responded, “Well, I think the problem was she didn’t want to leave behind the life she knew.”
Now that may sound completely absurd to you and I, but the truth is so often we do something even more absurd — we hang on to rubbish in our lives and miss out – not just on a flat in Pont Street — but on all the treasures and plans that God has for us in our lives!