“[Treasures in Heaven] “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
Treasures on earth. Big house(s), big shiny cars, lots of “stuff”. Earthly comforts that we as members of the “civilized” world feel entitled to. We strive for it from the day we get our first paycheck. Television shows about constant remodeling and upgrading certainly don’t help me in this area.
My parents were raised in the depression era. They are very frugal and as a result are now quite comfortably retired. Growing up though, I saw this as a major drawback. Having been told by some girls during my Jr. High years that I could no longer be friends with them because my family didn’t have enough money didn’t help that. I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to prove them wrong. Child-ish I know, but it’s still there buried in my accumulated pain.
My husband’s family lived very modestly as well. They lacked for nothing overall, but he could still feel that tug to have more. He spent his life being an over-achiever to reach his target of more.
When you combine these two personalities you come up with a “More Mentality” out of control. We had the big vacation home in AZ, we had two shiny (used) Jaguar cars. We always planned for bigger and better, regardless of the debt. Just weeks before Larry was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, we’d been strategizing ways to get “enough” for him to be able to retire early. We could always justify our extravagance by our giving. We weren’t stingy with the money God had blessed us with, so surely God must want us to have all of this, right?
That all changed so quickly. One day life was going on as normal. The next day our world fell apart. All of our “more” meant nothing. There was no way that our vacation home could make the cancer go away. The cars became nothing more than a way to get to daily radiation treatments. All of the money quickly flew out the window. We discovered very quickly that all of these earthly treasures were useless. The only treasure we had in the end was our relationship with Jesus. For Larry, this relationship was everything! For me, it was my sole source of comfort.
People remember Larry for many different things, but they all remember his extraordinary faith.
Where are your treasures?