If pride is the most dangerous sin known to man than covetousness might win the prize for being the most common sin of our age. In fact the case could made that it is covetousness that makes the world go around. Just replace the word "world" with "marketplace" and that would be about right. But the truth is that the marketplace itself is not evil but rather - what position does it play in our lives? It all comes down to who leads who...
There have been a great number of attempts at creating utopia here on earth and though that might start out as a good idea there is always one little problem - humanity can't make heaven - we just don't have the knowledge, the skill, the wisdom, the self control, the generosity....and a host of other limitations block us. If you think we could consider carefully the havoc that was wrecked in millions of lives by those who have tried; Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao Te-tung...and others. Heaven, and the making there of, is the providence of God alone but we can take steps to get closer to heaven "for the path to Heaven is Heaven while the path to hell is hell.
But have you noticed that we have a tendency to get in our own way when we make grand plans? And one of the dangers before us is that we humans tend to get side tracked very easly by "stuff". There are many common misconceptions that really mess up our priorities and I think the most common is that some "thing" will make us happy. Frankly the advertising world would shrivel up and die if we didn't believe this to some degree. We like to tell ourselve that we are above such temptations but actually how often do we buy things we never really intended to buy, or do not need in the least, because of a simple whim or a passing attraction? But then how long do we have to manage and take care of that thing? I have had times when my very contented group of children were suddenly thrown off kilter by the arrival of a fancy, highly colored, beautifully decorated catalogue. My previous happy group of kids were suddenly moping about because they wanted (desperately of course) something they did not know was in existence just a short while ago. How often are we thrown off our schedules, our plans to do some good deed sidetracked, our hopes of spending times with our kids put off, our noble intentions of spending some time in prayer tossed to the side all because of stuff or stuff maintenence that drains us and does not really make us happy at all. Aren't we enough to make the devil himself split a rib laughing at us? (ok - I know - he doesn't have a rib.)
As C.S. Lewis demonstrated in The ScrewTape Letters as a character is led off to hell he expresses the realization that though he had never done what he should have done -he never really did what he reallt wanted to either. When we face our last days on earth how much will we remember the stuff that we spent so much time and energy on? The temptation is to believe that this or that thing will make us happier or better but pleasure is such a fleeting thing! And there isn't a store on the planet that has the keys to kingdom of heaven.
Wanting stuff all the time is an amazing time-waster. Actually we might say it is a life-killer. When we practice the art of contentment we increase our chances of running headlong into real happiness. For the only thing that can both make us happy now and in the days to come is already deep within us - our relationship with the God who made us. Perhaps that is what He meant when He suggested we build up our treasure... for Heaven.