"Dad, I really do need a tackle box, cause I'm keepin' my fishin'finds in my underwear drawer!"
Tomorrow we are going to a fishing tournament at A.H. Stevens State Park. My husband (the type A, smart, planner type) was investigating how to catch a catfish and mentioned getting new bait. This is where Anson chimed in regarding his "fishin' finds." Now, I only have one son, so it's OK if I say he is my favorite son. His little voice was so precious when he remarked that his underwear drawer was where all of the treasures end up. You could hear it in his voice how ridiculous even he thought it was that his underwear drawer would be a safe place for that sort of thing. I agree, bobbers do not belong with Power Ranger underwear!!!
How silly that when I told him to put those "treasures" away that he would put them there. They don't belong there, they don't fit in there, but he had no other place to put them.
Several years ago I gave my summers to learning more about how to follow Jesus. I'll explain that quickly. I was involved with a campus ministry that had what was called a "Summer Beach Project" each summer. Most students would raise support, you lived in a hotel, worked for minimum wage and learned how to walk with God for 10 weeks in Daytona Beach, FL. How great does that sound??? I went twice and the lives of my children and their children will be better for it. So, on my first "SBP" we probably had the stankest room on project. I won't go into details, but it was rough. It was that summer that I memorized Matthew 6:19-21, just in case your Bible isn't handy here is what it says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Let's be clear...I do not think money is bad. In fact, I want to share what my Bible note says about these verses. On verse 19, "Riches are not condemned in and of themselves. What Jesus condemns here is greed and hoarding of money." A note on 20, "treasures in heaven: Anything done in this life that has eternal value. The phrase is equivalent of being rich toward God. In this context it probably refers to using one's material wealth for good causes." This is going in a direction I wasn't expecting...I'm nervous...
When I heard Anson say that, I just thought it was cute. As I recalled it on the way home (we were at Mom's house when he said it)I thought about where I keep my treasures. Mike and I were driving around looking at homes tonight and are trying to figure out what we should do about our home. We'd like to move, but want God's will. We would LOVE more space, but do not wish to be house poor, again. I do not believe that it is more "spiritual" to have little, I know many WONDERFUL people that do not have a little. The question is, where is our heart? Are my eyes fixed on what is seen, which is temporary, or on what is unseen which is eternal? It's all about my heart.
That summer it was sort of a joke that we were storing up treasures in heaven. I should research that a bit more, probably. We left our families for 10 weeks to do what??? I worked as a maid one year and I rang up quarter pounders the next. My desire was to learn how to love Jesus with every fiber of my being. I still fall short and I'm so thankful for His grace that sustains me. I didn't care what this world had, I was hungry for heaven.
We get full don't we? This may be deeper than I have gone before, or may go again, but this is a quote from John Piper's Hunger for God, "The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14.18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable and almost incurable.”
How humbling and convicting are those words? I must not love anything more than knowing God. I do...I check blogs, e-mail, Good Morning America, call my sister, arrange playdates, the list goes on and on. Where am I storing up my treasures? Am I putting Christ first? Even now I feel as I should shut this off and down and meditate on His Word until He returns! It's where I spend my time, my energy, my gifts...not only my money. Where am I investing? Are my treasures in my underwear drawer? Am I scrounging around finding someone's left over fishin' finds and stashing them in my underwear drawer? OR am I struggling feverishly to know the God of the heavens and serve Him with my entire being? Am I being all that He has created me to be? My stomach is turning at that question. What if the answer is "no." Am I looking toward heaven with great expectation or finding this earth has everything I'll ever need?
I do want a bigger house, I want to take nice vacations and visit one of my favorite families in Germany. I want my children to look cute in our Christmas pictures and I want someone to make my yard look nice so that my father-in-law can just visit. I do want stuff, and I think denying God's gifts is just as bad as misusing them! Here is what I'm saying, I want to take my treasures out of my underwear drawer and put them in the tackle box where they belong. I want heaven to be my safe keeping place. Why wouldn't I keep my treasures where they are safest? Ya know?