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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Too high, or too low?

The poet Edward Young reminds us, "Too low they build, who build beneath the stars." A building site is often the most significant part of the building. Too much on hard, impenetrable stone and the necessary foundation might not be as easily placed as one may imagine. The running of pipes to bring fresh water and take away waste is made all the harder when the ground is solid with impenetrable stone. To accomplish the placement of these, blasting may need to occur. The process is costly, loud, and riddled with all kinds of dangers. Too much shifting sand and the foundation will never be secure, for the ground beneath is subject to every flow of water from storms and every gust of wind. Sure, the building may go up, but will it stay up? Jesus reminds us to not lay up our treasures on this earth, but to look to what it is we can lay up in the heavens instead. Why? There are a whole lot of forces seeking to destroy or "take away" those earthly treasures - but there is a "guard" who keeps each one of our heavenly treasures secure!

Don’t save treasures for yourselves here on earth. Moths and rust will destroy them. And thieves can break into your house and steal them. Instead, save your treasures in heaven, where they cannot be destroyed by moths or rust and where thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will be where your treasure is." (Matthew 6:19-21 ERV)


We humans spend a great deal of time "storing up". I realize that every time I have to reorganize the pantry, or get rid of the stuff stacking up in the garage. It isn't always that we will have need of the stuff, it is that we don't know if we will need it again! Some time ago I developed a little system that helps me determine when something is not really needed in my life. You see, if I don't use it at least once a year for those "stored items", it goes. If I don't use it at least twice a year for those "closeted" items, it goes. I keep a jacket around, but don't use it more than a couple times a year because I live in a climate that doesn't warrant jackets too many days out of the year. Most of the time I get by with a sweater. I don't need more than one jacket, though, because it doesn't make sense to keep something that I won't use more than a couple times each year.

The stuff we "store up" on this earth can often get in the way of what it is we are "storing up" in the heavens. We can get so earthly focused that we miss out on what other blessings God has prepared for us in his presence. We get distracted, pulled away, and often totally miss how God wants to move in our lives. While I don't always do a good job of ridding my home of the stuff that gets "stuck in corners", I am getting better at it. It is made a little harder because I have an elderly mother who blended a lot of her stuff into my household when she came to live with me 9 years ago. Little by little, I have been able to weed out some of this stuff, but there is still stuff hanging around I don't think we will ever use. You likely know how that goes. It is hard to let go, especially when you are forced to pare down because you are "blending households". I wonder if God ever looks at us and shakes his head because we are so caught up in "blending households" (ours with his) and just won't let go of some stuff we call "treasures", but pale in comparison to what he has in store for us. Just askin!