Just a thing or is it a treasure?
Just a thing. Broken, lost or falling apart. Value, yes, but still only a thing. No eternal value. A thing held in the hand can feel precious and dear. A thing can seem so valuable that it is irreplaceable. It may be, but it is still only a thing…which can be swept away. It can be stolen. It can wear out. A thing is only a thing.
Kids help you to realize this more than ever. For it’s true that ‘Nothing lasts forever’. Some things just wear out prematurely. Some things get broken, torn or stained. Your favorite shirt may have to become just the rag you use to dust the lamp that replaced your favorite lamp that broke two months ago.
Sometimes, it’s simply life that wears down your things quickly. The car gets used and the alternator goes out. Light bulbs burn out and shower curtains get dingy. As I try to save money with my family I am really aware of the value of all of these things. Some items are easy and affordable to replace, but some seem to take your breath away with the expense at just the wrong time. And then there are the special items that will never be again.
Sure, I go out of my way to take care of everything I can. We respect our property. We use things gently and look for deals and specials to replace what we can. We thank God for all the blessings of earthy things that our Father has provided for us. And we know that all these things are really worth nothing compared to the real treasures of life. Real treasure doesn’t fade or lose its value. Real treasure can be intangible but powerful nevertheless. Real treasure isn’t something you can buy. Real treasure is more valuable than one can possibly measure.
There have been so many times in my life where I have mistaken a thing for a treasure. I have tried to control what happens to things and gotten ridiculously angry when something out of my control has stolen away just a thing. Sometimes my favorite things have gotten broken and I have lost my real treasure, -self-control. That’s a gift from my Father that cannot be replaced. That is a real treasure.
I see in my children already times where they have learned from me to value a thing so highly that it becomes more important than anything else in a moment. Yikes! Fear that dictates because we can’t replace something. Frustration that obligates a response of unhappiness, anger or grief. Oh my, this is not the lesson I want my children to learn. I want them to be able to relinquish control over their possessions and allow their Father to be their provider. Because that’s really what it’s all about. When WE are our provider we can NEVER meet all of our needs. When HE is our provider all of our needs are ALREADY met. And so I am learning to let go. Last week my favorite mixing bowl fell to the ground in a moment of carelessness and broke into five or six pieces. Instead of the response of the past, (which would have included an eruption of anger…perhaps spilling over onto my kids in irrational ways) I was able to thank God that neither of the boys were in the room to get hurt. My kids were able to see that it was just a thing and I could move past it. They were able to learn a new lesson. A lesson where peace prevailed. A lesson that will help to shape their future. A future of really valuing the true treasures.
Today I wanted to take a few minutes to list a couple of True Treasures in my life. Because one of my truest treasures is time with my kids I am only going to list a few, but as I think on it the list just simply grows. Please take a moment to read my list and share with me some of yours. Be encouraged if you have allowed something in your life be a treasure or the loss of something that each day is a new day to realize what the real treasures in your life are. And even, as is often needed in my case, each moment is a new moment.
Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Peace of mind
Joy and laughter in my child’s voice
A twinkle in the eyes of the one I love
The sacrifice of those who give their lives that I might have freedom…both He who gives me eternal freedom and those who give us the freedom to worship Him
Family that loves me and the opportunity to love them back
Knowing that I am not in control
Knowing the difference between things and treasures