Thursday, June 19, 2014

Store Up Treasures in Heaven

By Melanie Rigney

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, by which they would be the LORD’s people; and another between the king and the people. Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and demolished it. They shattered its altars and images completely, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. (2 Kings 11:18-19)

The Lord swore to David a firm promise from which he will not withdraw: “Your own offspring will set upon your throne.” (Psalms 132:11)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.(Matthew 6:19-21)

Lord, help me to pack lightly for the journey.

We were planning for a fire drill at work. It got canceled because it was raining at the appointed hour, and the powers that be didn’t want us to be inconvenienced. But we all officially unofficially got the reminder of which stairwell to use and where each team was to gather for nose counts before the “all clear.” The reminder also strongly encouraged us to bring our purses and billfolds just so we’d be in practice in case there’s a time in the future that when the alarm goes off, it’s not just a drill. It was an eerie reminder for some of my colleagues, who due to a tragedy had to shelter in place for hours last fall… or who had left with coffee money and couldn’t get back into the building to get their phones or Metro cards until the next day.

Considerate folks, those powers that be. But most of life doesn’t work out quite the same in the here and now. The relationship we treasured so much and worked so hard at is destroyed by the moths who eat away at it. The old photos and love letters fade beyond recognition with time even with our loving care. The sweater or dress that carried so many memories pills or rips despite our best efforts. Our emotional or spiritual well being is threatened by what seems to be an all-consuming blaze, not just an inconvenient half-hour drill, and we wonder why those little treasures we’ve put so much effort into preserving have turned to ashes.

Treasures on earth. They will go away, no matter what we do to attempt to hold them here. People die. They change. They move on. Boxes of clothing fade. Mementos get lost or broken, or don’t hold the same luster. So while we love the goodness we experience here on earth, we recognize the best way to prepare for that final fire drill is to travel lightly, and focus on the place where the Holy Spirit ignites every bit of flame.

Put aside a lost treasure for which you've been mourning, even if you can do this only for five minutes. Tomorrow, try to make it ten minutes.

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