I heard a true story about James Howells, a 35-year-old British IT engineer who in 2013 accidentally threw away a hard drive containing a private code to his bitcoin account. He did not bother with it then because bitcoins were not worth much. However, as the bitcoin value hit a record high of $42,000 a couple of months ago, he pleaded with the local city officials to let him search for the hard drive in a landfill site because he needed the cryptographic “private key” stored in the hard drive to regain access to his bitcoin account.
After all these years, Howells is still confident he’d be able to recover the bitcoin. He reasons that the platter inside the computer could still be intact, explaining, “Data recovery experts could then rebuild the drive or read the data directly from the platter.”
Howells said he owned 7,500 bitcoins which, at the time of the report in January, would be worth more than $280 million. He said the only way to regain access to the holdings would be to find the private key. In the crypto world, if you don’t have your key, you don’t have your currency.
What a story to illustrate the uncertainty of our world! One could invest in something as invisible and intangible as bitcoins, become a multimillionaire, and then lose it all just because they cannot find the code—a random sequence of numbers and letters!
But it is what it is! That’s why the Scripture teaches us in Matthew 6:19-24:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also . . . You cannot serve both God and money.
So, where do we store up our treasure? In heaven, where we don’t even need to remember any keys or pin numbers because God knows them all. In fact, he even knows how much (or how little) we have in our accounts.
Obviously, there’s a proper place for planning for our future years, such as retirement. But eternity is the far greater part of our future. Do you consciously and intentionally “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven?” Have you been saving lately?
I hope we all have—by serving God, serving people around us, and living our lives to honor him.