It might seem bizarre to you and others. In fact the story appeared not in mainstream news columns but in the offbeat and quirky news sections of major media outlets. But for Mark Giorgio it was not all that bizarre. It seemed perfectly reasonable to him and he made history.
He was walking across the US 41 Bridge over the Manatee River in Central Florida counting his money. Apparently he was short on funds. A puff of wind lifted a $20 bill out of his hand and blew it over the rail. As it floated downward on the wind currents towards the river Mark Giorgio looked on with alarm.
What hoops did his mind go through as his $20 sank into the river? What did he weigh up? Was $20 worth risking his life over? Was he confident his swimming skills would keep him safe as he retrieved the money? Or was he willing to take a gamble? Plunge into the river, grasp for the $20 and possibly drown clinging to his recovered money or if he was lucky retrieve the $20 and live also?
All we know is that he really wanted that $20. Up over the rail he went, diving 50 feet into the water and then swam another 100 yards. Yes, he recovered his money but just about lost his life in the process. Fortunately a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer was passing by and fished him out of the river.
Was it worth it? “He said when you’re broke $20 is a lot of money. Yes, I got my money back.” (1)
The story had a good ending. But it was a close call.
Centuries ago another man was after money. He craved to have some silver jingling in his pocket. True – it was only 30 coins but somehow he had it rationalized in his mind: “It is worth it to betray Jesus Christ in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.” That particular story had a bad ending. Judas actually sold his soul. For a little money he was willing to turn his back on the Saviour…..and he made history!
Perhaps he thought he could betray Christ, get his 30 pieces of silver and that Christ would somehow escape from the enemies. What a gamble he took! It didn’t happen that way. Jesus was condemned to die on the Cross. When Judas saw the outcome of his awful gamble, he grabbed the silver and flung it through the air and ran out, found a tree and ended his life.
Judas, was it worth it?
What is important to you as you read this story? What gamble are you making? What chances are you taking? For Mark Giorgio, he was willing to risk his life for $20 – after all, he was broke. Judas was willing to risk his soul for silver and he ended up in Hell. The 30 pieces of silver will haunt Judas for the eternal ages.
What is more important to you than your soul? What is more important than owning Christ as your Saviour? Are you sure it is worth it? Remember, it’s for eternity. Heaven or Hell. Is it a friend? Is it an addiction? Is it a secret sin or a habit? If you pass up Christ in order to keep or gain what you value today – you will curse that very thing throughout eternity.
Nothing is more valuable than your soul. You need to be saved. You need Christ. Don’t gamble away your soul.
Jesus asked: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37
(1)http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/20/chasingmoney.ap/index.html 09/20/06 08:11 AM, EDT