Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. It’s true, you know. Jesus said this, (right there in Matthew 6:21) so it must be true. But what does that mean, really? When I take inventory of my stuff, my treasures, it shows where my heart is. My time. My money. My talent. My treasures. You can learn a lot about a person based on where they invest themselves.
I am happy to say that in so far as “stuff” goes, I am mostly unattached. Mostly. I mean, I like things. For instance… shoes. I like shoes. And fun jewelry. I often want more of both. But for the most part I can live without most things. My children know that there are really only a few things that I possess that I would be sick over should I lose them or should they get broken.
Recently a couple of things that do matter to me have been broken at the hands of my kids. Sometimes kids break things. I had a set of three bowls that once belonged to my grandmother. They are mixing bowls. Now I have a set of two.
My son accidentally broke the middle sized one. Momma bear no longer has a bowl. He was cleaning up the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, and broke it. I was not home at the time, but he tried to call me to tell me what had happened. I was unable to take his call, so he texted me the sad news. In that moment I was heartbroken. I don’t have a lot of things that were my Granny’s, she didn’t possess a lot of things.
Perhaps if I had placed them high on a shelf and never used them, I would still have all three. My Granny would have thought that was ridiculous.
“They are bowls. Use them”, she’d say.
And using them always makes me think of her. I could hear her say something else as I sat there searching for something to say to my son. I could hear her say, “It’s just a bowl, Stacey.” So that’s what I told my son. “It’s just a bowl. It’s okay.”
My youngest son had the great misfortune to break another one of my prized treasures recently. When I was nineteen I took a trip with my mother to Hong Kong. It was purely for fun. How great is that? We had a wonderful time of adventure, and we brought back some neat oriental type souvenirs from our trip. One of those items was a beautiful vase. I have enjoyed having the vase in my home for all these years since.
Twenty-four years to be exact.
This vase survived the trip back to America, and over a dozen other moves. It did not survive the Nerf gun dart game in my den.
I was in my bedroom when I heard the crash. Then I heard my daughter’s dismay at what was apparently broken.
Then there was silence.
I figured the guilty party or parties were busy planning their escape to undisclosed locations. Apprehensively, I opened the door to my room, and walked down the hall to the den. And there it was. My vase… in pieces on the floor. My youngest son stood over it, powerless to do anything, but wishing he had the power to reverse time.
As I picked up the pieces of my vase, I searched for something to say to my son. My heart was broken. I wanted him to understand that what he had done could not be undone. I told him that the vase could not be replaced, but I did also manage to say, “It’s just a vase. It’s okay.” (Thanks, Granny) My husband dismissed my son to take a shower, and we cleaned up the mess.
An hour or so later I was tucking my little son into bed, and I could tell he was still upset over what he had done. He handed me a letter he had written to me. As I read my son’s words to me my heart swelled in my chest.
“I am so sorry mom. You have given me so much and how do I thank you? I don’t. I hurt your heart instead.”
I went on to read the rest of the most precious letter I have ever received. I gathered him up in my arms, and told him that he means more to me than any thing ever could. In that moment it was most important to me for him to know that he, along with his brothers and sister, are my greatest treasure. I was reminded that they are where my heart is. Matthew and I have been given many nice things, but none greater than our family.
God never tells us it’s a bad thing to have or want things. He gives us great things to enjoy. (Shoes, remember? Thank you, Lord, for shoes.) But we are not to treasure those things above the things of God. People, relationships with people, and our relationship with Him are to be prized most of all. I was just listening to a message from Andy Stanley in which he talked about this very thing. He shared that he never purchases anything he would be unwilling to loan out to someone. Then there is no chance that he would ever value some thing over someone. Not a bad idea, really…
Where is your heart? The Bible says it’s where ever your treasure is. I guess that’s the real kicker. Where is your treasure? Where are you pouring yourself? Are you investing in eternal treasure or treasure that will one day turn to dust…