“A Man and His Toys” is the title of my Father’s Day sermon in “Word Alive!” published by TriPillar. Jorge Valdez came from Cuba to the United States and went from poverty to wealth, though not in legal ways. “When I was 20 years old, I had two Learjets, my own JetRanger (helicopter). I had mansions in every country and city that I went to ‘cause I hated to carry a suitcase where I went. I drove around in a Rolls Royce. I had a fleet of cars.”
When his bodyguard was killed, Jorge realized the bullet had been meant for him. He began to call his whole life into question. At the funeral, his bodyguard’s daughter said to Jorge, “Godfather, my daddy went to be with Jesus.” “Wow,” Jorge said, “if there is a Jesus, what we are doing is not going to get us there.” His discontent grew. One weekend, Jorge was partying at one of his mansions. His daughter from a previous marriage was spending that weekend with him. In the middle of the night, this toddler came to her father’s bedroom. Scared, she was reaching out for her father’s help. How can I help her, he thought. He realized how filthy he had become in the life he was living. Having the biggest, best, and the most toys wasn’t proving to be the answer.
“If riches increase, set not your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10), and “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall” (Proverbs 11:28). Jorge was led to Jesus Christ. I asked him, “Do you miss the toys?” “I miss them all. Who doesn’t miss going to the store and buying whatever you want to buy? The difference is that now the hole that…was inside my body, in my mind, in my soul, has been filled. It’s filled with a relationship with Jesus.” In consumer America, you have to wonder how many of us are scaled-down versions of Jorge.