Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crammed packed full!

I enjoy watching the re-runs of the TV series, "The Waltons".  The simpler times have their intrigue.  The struggles to remain true to their convictions when times are quickly changing around them is a reminder to me of the speed of change demanding our attention today.  What touches me the most is their simple trust - in their neighbors, in their family, and in their God.  One of the characters on the show, Ike Godsey, is the store owner and local postmaster.  His store is never really what we'd call "impressive" by today's standards, but it always seemed he could get his hands on whatever anyone was looking to obtain - even if he had to special order it.  Today's passage reminds us of the "general store" available to all of us.

52  He said, "Then you see how every student well-trained in God's kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it."  (Matthew 13:52 The Message)

The student well-trained in God's Word is the like the owner of a general store - able to put their hands on anything we need - exactly when we need it!  Wow!  I never really thought of it this way, but it is true.  Depending on the translation we read, we get a little different interpretation of this passage, but all ring true to the idea of a vast storehouse which is at our disposal.  The one important fact which is apparent in each translation is the "access".

We often have "access" to many things.  I have access to a copy machine right across from my office.  In fact, I have access to a laser printer, copier, and fax machine without having to walk more than 10 feet.  Yet, none of these office machines are mine.  I can "use" them in the day-to-day operation of my work, but I don't get to take them home at the end of the day.  They are not owned my me.  Access is the ability to "use" these items only.  I have been granted "permission" to utilize them, and I can grant permission to others to utilize them as they have need, as well.

As Jesus is speaking with his disciples, he refers to being "students" - well-trained in God's kingdom - and equates them to being like store "owners".  The one who owns the store is able to access anything within the store whenever the need arises.  The one who merely "purchases" from the store is one who must seek permission to purchase what is needed.  Being a disciple of the Word is like being the keeper of a vast storeroom of "good stuff" you may "access" at any time.

New or old - exactly when you need it.  Here's the joy of becoming a student of the Word - the vastness of the resources available to you!  Some truths will be like the pillars of a building - holding us strong through thick and thin.  Other truths will be used less frequently, but like the fine china which comes out on special occasions, they grace our lives with beauty.  Then there is the cumulative effect of one portion of the Word adding to another - providing wisdom for our journey and sustenance to our soul.

I recently moved the pantry to make access to the items contained within it more easily accessible to my sight-challenged mother.  She needed narrower shelves, more lighting, and less clutter in order to make her "access" to the items contained within more practical for her.  What she discovered was how much stuff we actually had!  She had forgotten about some of the items (so had I!).  As we spread them out, we saw how blessed we really are!  It is often in the "de-cluttering" of our lives we find out just how blessed we are!  

Sometimes we "clutter up" our storeroom of faith with all kinds of things which only serve to push the good stuff to the back, making "access" a little difficult.  Maybe we need to "de-clutter" our spiritual storerooms a little, too.  In so doing, we may find treasures we'd long forgotten!

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