May 21, 2014

Treasures or Traps

Today, as I was sitting at work, I found myself thinking over a long list of things yet to do to prepare for The Great Adventure 2014, and then started thinking of how few hours I have in which to accomplish those things...and I realized that I was allowing the planning and preparation to rob me of a large chunk of joy for the actual Adventure!

I often find myself lamenting over the sheer volume of things in my life - things to do, things to read, things to buy, things to clean, things to put away, things to sort, things to share, things, things, things...

I was gently reminded by that still, small voice that things aren't what this life is all about..."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." Matt 6:19-21 The Message

Since it was quiet at work (very, very quiet), I had time to truly chew on these verses...how easy it is for us to buy into the school of thought that "He who has the most toys, wins"...after all, we're bombarded with it - media of all sorts hammer us at every turn with incredible claims of amazing products that will change our lives for the better!  How can we not want things that will make us thin, beautiful, fit, amazing cooks, awesome parents, and fun friends??  We are surrounded with homes that get larger and more lavish with each new neighborhood that is built, we watch shows that teach us how easy it is to improve our homes, our lives (all aspects of it!!!) and we can simply pick up a phone or visit a website and purchase the very item we need to improve our lives...

If those products truly improved our lives to the point they claim "Never buy another frying pan again!", why, then, are we faced with more slogans and claims for the same items again and again?

Why are we so caught up in the things of this life?

I realized that the only thing that can truly improve my life has already been gifted to me.  That's right...gifted to me.  To you.  To everyone that will simply reach out and claim it.

The only thing that can fill the longing to be better, stronger, faster, prettier, richer, healthier whatever-er is God.

And God doesn't ask us to fill our lives with things...Jesus laid it out clearly when he asked the rich young ruler what the greatest commandment was - "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind", and made it pretty evident how to improve our lives further with the second "Love your neighbor as yourself"...

We aren't called to fill our lives and homes with things.  We're called to fill our heart with God and our lives with the love of God - and to share it with everyone around us.

That means that time spent with my kids is far more important than having a spotless house, or the latest and greatest gadgets and toys.

I know He has also commanded us to be wise stewards of that with which we've been blessed, which means taking care of the people and finances we have - buy what we need, and care for it.  More importantly, love those in our lives with the love of God.

We are also called to "...do everything as if doing it for the Lord..." - which means that any tasks we've been given, or chosen to take on, we should do with our best efforts, learning and growing, and ensuring that we do it willingly and joyfully.

As I face the task list, I will choose to remember that we've been supremely blessed with the financial freedom to take a 3-week trip and go to some amazing places and enjoy meals out at restaurants and purchase souvenirs.  Beyond that, I will remember that I'm blessed beyond measure that I have my husband, 3 healthy children, and the chance of a lifetime to create memories that we'll have for the rest of our lives...

I will choose to focus on the treasure of time spent together, laughing, playing, exploring, rather than the trap of the mundane.

What will you choose?

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