Jan. 10, 2013
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. – Matthew 6:19-21
Recently, someone asked me if there was anything of my Dad’s that I really wanted. My mind went completely blank. I had no answer. Quite honestly, I had not given it a single thought.
I thought about this later. If there was one thing of my Dad’s that would be meaningful for me, something that represented his life, what would this be for me? I still didn’t have an answer.
As my life spins by, my feelings about possessions has changed. Yes, there are things I have that are important and necessary. I like to surround myself with things meaningful to me. Our bed is the bed I slept in as a child. My grandmother refinished and gave me a dresser when I was a senior in college so I could put my clothes in something other than milk crates. There’s a very old set of glasses from the Deaton side of my family that I received at the time my Grandma Deaton moved into the nursing home.
When people downsize at various stages of their lives, it’s hard. Moving from a big house to a 12×12 room is very poignant. At this stage, often it means going from a bigger bed to a single bed; picking out a love seat rather than a sofa; having a chair easier to get in and out of.
If our house was burning and I could only take one thing with me, I know exactly what I would take. The box with all the cards, silly little notes and slips of paper Rick has given me or written to me. End of story. I can replace a lot of other things. The contents of this box, I cannot.
We live in a culture that puts so much emphasis on material possessions. Bigger, better, newer, more. It became very clear to me last Friday that my Dad wasn’t taking anything with him. All his “stuff” is still here. What awaited him was a much more valuable and significant reward that can never be replaced.
Maybe this year, we could all learn to do with what we have, give a little more away, become less focused on things of this world and make sure our eternal treasure is in ship-shape.
Personal confession: I did take Dad’s Wisconsin Holstein pin off his suit coat and bring home with me. That was the one thing.
In a world that too often focuses on exterior things, may we be more mindful of focusing on the internal things this year. May the one gift of a treasure in heaven waiting for us be more valuable than any silver, gold or earthly possession. Amen.