Ecclesiastes 2:26 (ESV)
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Prior to his death from cancer at age 40 in March 1991, Republican campaign manager Lee Atwater was one of the most admired and hated men in American politics. His greatest accomplishment was guiding Vice President George Bush to a comeback victory over Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis in 1988. Bush's comeback was partially the result of Atwater's skillful use of "attack" television commercials directed at Dukakis' record as governor of Massachusetts.
But soon after his cancer was detected in the summer of 1990, Lee became a Christian. He said: "I've found Jesus Christ - It's that simple. He's made a difference, and I'm glad I've found Him while there's still time." Atwater spent much of his remaining life publicly apologizing for his attacks.
Reflecting on the past, Atwater said: "The eighties were about acquiring: wealth, power, and prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth and power and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty." He continued: "It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime."
Wealth and power disappear quickly. But our relationship with the Lord lasts throughout eternity.
Dear Lord, thanks for all You do for us. Help us to strive to know You more intimately. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.