The boys and I are reading through Luke (I believe I have already said that…) and today Jesus was addressing another crowd (SIDENOTE: I posted an entry here before about how it seemed that Jesus was not usually speaking to crowds but more to small groups and even individuals. It seems however that in Luke, almost everytime something comes out of Jesus’ mouth it’s to a CROWD, so… I stand corrected. 🙂 End sidenote…) We read a story, and some more teaching from Jesus.
The story was about a rich man who had an abundant crop. He decided he would store it all up in bigger barns, so he’d be set for the future. God said, “You dummy… you’re going to die tonight… what good does all your stuff do you now?” Then Jesus reminded us that birds don’t have to worry about what they will eat, and flowers look great, even though they’re here today, burned tomorrow. We’re more important to God than both of those, so… don’t worry.
And we finished today with Jesus saying don’t treasure things that can be taken, or eaten. (Moths destroy…) Make your treasure eternal stuff… sorta, intangible stuff. Things that can’t be taken. Because, where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is.
(Somewhere else it says that your heart is the “wellspring of life”… I think that means it’s important…)
So I asked the boys what this meant. First they shook their heads in bewilderment. But with some more directed questions, we figured out that Jesus was trying to tell us not to worry about stuff. Don’t “treasure” stuff that will break, could be taken, or will just eventually be gone.
Alex didn’t like that so much.
I said, “What if our house burned down? To the ground. Everything was gone. Then what would happen? Would that be bad?”
Ian quickly said no, but Alex had a very concerned look on his face. Finally he said, “That would be bad!”
I said, “Why would that be bad?”
“Well, it would burn down, but we’d have Sega, Nintendo, and Backyard Football?” (He really, really likes video games…)
“No, they’d all be gone. But we’re all fine. Would we be OK?” I asked.
He thought for a moment and stuck to his guns, “No…” his eyes were filled with near horror, “That would be bad!”
You gotta love Alex’s honesty. He really means it. To him, that would mean the end of his world. For whatever reason, Ian has learned the lesson that stuff does not matter. It’s fun. He can enjoy it just as much as Alex, but Alex has wrapped his heart up in stuff. He can not imagine a world without his stuff.
I told him that this was a great example of what Jesus was talking about. Stuff doesn’t matter, and Jesus knew that. It’s fun, but it doesn’t matter. If we “treasure” stuff that will eventually break, be taken, or just die… then our hearts will be crushed with our treasure. Where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also.
And later this morning I got to thinking. I know I would be OK if all my stuff was gone. I would be a bit panicked about all my clients’ files and such. Hard to recover all that stuff. I would be bummed to lose the stuff of nostalgic and emotional value. But in the end I’d be OK.
That said, I sure do have a lot to distract me from important stuff! I love video games too. That takes a good amount of my time if I let it. I sure do love my computers, and the internet. That takes time too. I love to watch Star Treks. I love watching Hockey, and Football. I enjoy a good movie now and again. I even enjoy sitting down with a nice book and a cup o’ something.
There sure is a lot to “treasure”, eh?
So, I think at some point in the not-too-distant future… I may take a serious break from all my stuff. I want to cut away the distractions and spend some good time with Jesus. Every once in a while I long for that (I guess, when I haven’t had it in a while?) and now is one of those times. I think he was reminding me of that again today.
Some stuff in life is expendable. Well, OK… probably most stuff. Some stuff is not. Time with my Father who loves me is fantastic. I mean just hanging out time. We’re always together. He’s with me in everything I do. But sometimes it’s good to just be together, not really doing anything else, eh? I think I’m wanting some of that today.
So, I hope your treasures are in the right place today. I don’t mean black/white, right/wrong. I just mean, in a place where your heart won’t be crushed if your treasure is. We’re going to coax Alex toward that better place. Hope he follows.