Saturday, December 31, 2011

Treasures

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth, nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal."  Matthew 6:19-20
A glimpse of one of God's treasures He has
given us to enjoy.
Photo by Carole S. Amateis-Lebruska 2011

    













I was organizing storage space in one of my closets the other day - since I was putting my Christmas decorations away, it seemed like a good time to put some other things in their place as well.

Having moved recently, the combination spare bedroom and office has been bugging me.  Boxes and plastic containers from the move were still there and I have more or less, been working around the clutter which is not my cup of tea!

However, it has not been on the top of my list of priorities.  I've been busy working as a substitute para educator at a local school.  It has been fun working with the elementary kids but has taken a lot of energy.  The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is tackle that mess!  I also do some writing projects in one corner of the room to make some extra income.  God has been good in providing me work and I praise Him for it.

A week off from school duties provided an opportunity for me to clean up the room. As I worked the other day and tried to get all the boxes into the storage space, I became increasingly frustrated.  With the shelves situated the way they were - the big totes were just not going to fit.  I tried several different combinations and switched some items into smaller boxes. 

At one point, I was lifting a plastic container that held my Christmas glassware and cups to one shelf. Standing on my nifty step ladder, I was caught off guard when all of a sudden the lid popped off.  Down went the box crashing to the floor - glass flying everywhere.  It took me a second to absorb what had just happened - hadn't I just packed that box carefully so nothing would be broken?  And, yet, in a spilt second, at least half of it lay in pieces on the floor.

At first I was heartbroken.  But as I cleaned up the broken glass, I thought, I just have too much stuff.  This is ridiculous. And I was able to put it in perspective - this was just a box of glasses and cups - that is all. Sure, some had memories attached, but I still have those memories even though the items are no longer.

The words that Jesus spoke are so true.  We store up so many treasures on this earth and for what?  We can't take them with us when we enter heaven.  Needless to say, I got rid of some of my belongings after that episode and plan to get rid of some more.

I truly have all I need. Later, I reflected, maybe I should concentrate on storing up treasures in heaven instead of here on earth.......like Jesus said.

What are some of those treasures?  For me, it's. . . . . .
  • Walking among nature to appreciate the treasures God has given us
  • Spending quality time with family and friends
  • Listening to the laugh of a blind boy as I push him in a swing
  • Playing the piano for a Christmas Eve service at the church
  • Keeping in touch with friends who are in need of someone to care
  • Helping a special education student learn their multiplication tables
  • Praying for friends and family and people I don't know as the Holy Spirit directs
  • Writing insights about life in my journal that may help others some day
  • Giving a personal gift that can't be bought with money
  • Doing an unexpected favor for someone
  • Taking time to write a thank you note
  • Reading my Bible and talking to God 
  • Striving to live as the Scriptures teach - not an easy one:-)
  • Smiling at someone who is having a bad day and then praying for them
  • Remembering to give some of what God has given me financially
  • Fulfilling a need someone may have, expecting nothing in return
The New American Standard Life Application Bible explains storing up treasures well.  "Our intention should be to seek the fulfillment of God's purpose in all we do, not merely what we do with our money."

So, in a world that emphasizes what we have and encourages us to get more treasures than we will ever need, the words of Jesus are refreshing. 

One incident, on a winter day, as I was working on a storage project turned out to be a blessing.  Why?  Because it reminded  me of what is really important in life.  Material possessions aren't it - and the older I get, the more I realize this truth.

How about you.  Are you storing material treasures on earth or treasures in heaven?  It is something for all of us to consider.

Blessings to you in the New Year!

3 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

This is such a good post, especially as we begin the New Year and remember the holiday season. And it is amazing how the Lord uses incidents such as you had to bless us and teach us His truth.

Thank you, Mom, for sharing your heart in this. :-)

Joanne said...

What a thoughtful post. So much of our treasures can be found just through having the right perspective, and seeing life through a positive lens.

Happy New Year to you!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love this post:)) I hope I am storing up the right treasures-- I have certainly rid myself of so much here lately!