"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:21
Take a look around you.
Stop right now and look, really look at your surroundings.
What is there with you that you would say you absolutely cannot live without?
I think back to a time when Emma, our daughter, was, I think, 7 years old. On a chilly morning before school, she turned on a small space heater outside her bedroom door.
I was down the hall getting ready for the day when I smelled something awful. Something burning.
Glancing out our bedroom door, I saw smoke filling the hallway.
So, not knowing where the smoke was coming from, I did what any self respecting Mom would do, I yelled at Emma to run downstairs and out the front door.
What I did next was crazy.
At least I know NOW it was crazy.
I grabbed the phone and my purse (girl's gotta have her lipstick!) and ran all the way to the basement - yes, the BASEMENT. I never claimed to be smart.
But the basement was where my computer was and attached to the computer was my external hard drive -better known as my photo album - and if I couldn't save anything else, by golly, I was gonna save that.
Are you laughing yet?
I'm rolling my eyes at the memory of me, crazed and half dressed, running up and down the stairs for what? Pictures. Sigh.
It all turned out well. I'm here to write about it anyway.
I called the fire department and as they were on their way, Emma told me about turning on the space heater.
That thing hadn't been turned on in a year and I knew right away why it smelled like it was burning. Not sure where the smoke was coming from, but all we ended up with was a few muddy boot prints in the house and a great lesson learned.
No, it wasn't about when and where to use the space heater. Although, we did have a little chat with Emma about that.
In those few crazy, scary, unexpected moments I learned what earthly treasures were most important to me.
My daughter, of course. Thank goodness she just did as I told her and ran outside. Yeah, she's great like that. :)
But that hard drive. Why choose that out of a house full of stuff? Why potentially risk my life for it? (Yes, I know now it was stupid, but I have a point here, so keep reading, K?)
Here's the thing - there were a lifetime of memories stored on that hard drive. Memories of people and places and relationships that represented the best and sometimes the most difficult times in my life. My family's life. Times that could never be recreated. Experiences that only come once in a lifetime.
So, I learned that for me, the purpose of my life - to love and be loved - recorded for all time in those pictures, was what was most important to me. And truth be told, I really don't even need the pictures to know what my real treasures are. They are stored forever in my heart and mind and in the relationships that have created those memories.
This week, Mark and I began the process of cleaning out my Mom's home as she is headed into the next phase of her life. It's been quite the experience for us - going through the evidence of her life with my Dad over 52 years of marriage.
There's a lot of stuff. Pretty stuff. Old stuff. Valuable stuff. Stuff full of memories of times and people and places that speak to the richness of their life together.
And while she is loathe to get rid of any of it, the few things she has asked for while she is in the rehab center are some family photos and her Bible. And chocolate, but that's another blog post. :)
Which leads me to the conclusion that while our lives are rich and full and beautiful, surrounded by the physical evidence of the experience, all we really need are two things.
The saving grace and magnificent love of Jesus Christ.
And the relationships with each other that we are here to share.
It all comes down to what Jesus said in the Gospels - simply put, Love God and Love each other.
There is no greater treasure.
With a Courageous Heart,