The experts have said it. We have heard it, and done it.
You have heard it being said that “never put all your eggs in one basket”. You need some security and a number of options at your disposal. You need to be in control of the situation. You need to prepare for the unseen and the unexpected of occurrences.
To put all your eggs in one basket is to be sure that you will finally deliver the goods safely without upsets here and there.
Me + Baskets = Safe
In business, they say its disaster to have one income stream. If you run an enterprise that is healthy and making you richer everyday but with just one income stream, you are sitting on a time bomb. And bombs explode, my friend.
A fantastic businessman, therefore, will be him who can creatively find ways—not a way, but ways—in which his company can make more money. He should be able to find other baskets in which to place his valuable eggs.
This is not just a business thing; it’s our way of life. For example, I have not met any sane person who puts all his savings in one savings account. If I met one, I would pray that we don’t ever cross paths again. Such reckless tricks and total disregard for life are nothing to be proud of.
Control is our game, and you should play along.
The Rich Young Ruler—a Man of Baskets
Luke’s gospel carries an interesting story of a rich man who approaches Jesus for some consultation (Luke 18:18-30). This young man had made all the money that is there to be made, he had driven alongside the hottest girls in his open-roof Mercedes. He had seen the most beautiful sand beaches, and at that moment, I think he owned a fleet of private jets.
This guy had built mansions, employed many people and he was the master of an enormous chain of command. Since he was so rich, I assume, he had earned the right to set his own rules and then live by them.
But this young man wanted more. He wanted eternal life. It’s possible that he knew the saying that: “If you need something, go and get it.” Here he is trying to “get” eternal life. And so he asks Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Then Jesus tells him that eternal life is in keeping the 10 commandments. To Jesus’s surprise (and mine), the guy had kept them all since he was a kid. But Jesus was not done, He still had one more trick down His sleeve. He looked the rich guy in the face and told him to do one more thing: “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
The next thing we read is that this rich man was dismayed by what Jesus told him. He went into the parking lot, jumped into his yellow Bughatti and drove off. We never hear of him again.
It’s clear that this guy had invested his entire life building a life around baskets. He may have had a multiple-income-stream-business, a couple of investments here and there, mansions at the beach and in the country. His life generally felt safe because he had put his eggs in so many baskets.
But he still wanted another basket full of golden goose eggs which is why he went to Jesus.
Jesus – Baskets = Safe
Jesus’ answer to this rich man was brutal, it unsettled whoever heard it. So Peter, the inquisitive one probed even more and Jesus gave him the answer which the rich man needed to hear:
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:29-30)
In this mind-blowing statement, Jesus dismantles the idea that keeping your eggs in many different baskets is safe. In fact his assertion is that baskets, altogether, are not safe: that those who locate their security in houses, wives, relatives, and so many other things will never receive eternal life.
Jesus says that eternal life in the age beyond this one is for those who have given up on control and trying to secure their future using their things, like the rich man. When you desire eternal life, you bring nothing and hide behind nothing; you give up on human initiative and stake your life on God’s initiative—which, by-the-way, doesn’t look safe at all in human terms.
The reason we love this whole eggs-in-many-baskets thing is because we have a lot of weak unhappy gods we are controlling and we are not sure that they will do the job anyway. That is why the many the baskets, the safer we feel because baskets are weak. We need many of them to feel safe. But they never do the job.
It’s impossible to claim that we are Christians and still locate our salvation in the baskets that carry our eggs. The Gospel of Jesus is a call to abandon the basket project—to give up all control—so that our hope, meaning, purpose, identity, security and salvation are found in someone else, outside of ourselves—in Jesus Christ alone in whom we have rest for our weary bones, forgiveness even for our darkest sins, and eternal life in the world to come.