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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Treasure (12/15/03)

TITLE: High Maintenance
By Allen Clupny
12/19/03

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You know what? I like things. Stuff I can see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Somehow, they make me feel better. It sounds shallow and not very spiritual I know. But, Iíve been like this most of my lifeÖ perhaps like you?

As a kid, I liked to capture all the ĎBlue Bellyí lizards I could find in the walnut orchard. I liked talking about the homeruns I hit at the ball field on warm summer afternoons. I liked having my own room with my own things on the shelves. And I havenít stopped liking things just because I got older.

Today, I enjoy watching movies from my growing collection. I like having a fishing pole, mandolin, and booksÖ though I rarely use any of them. I know this sounds silly, but I like having a mixed bag of ink pens too; blue, black, thick and thin. Ones that feel right in my hand for the particular mood Iím in. I just like having things around me that remind meÖ of me.

But it takes work to manage all this stuff. Throw in a wife, kids, cars, a house and a goldfish and Iíve got a full barn. I guess I could build a bigger one, but if I remember right, Jesus called a bigger-barn-builderÖ a fool. So Iím making time to take a closer look at what I value.

I wonít try to give you my list of rules to overcome a love of earthly things. There are no simple steps we can take to stop cherishing whatís in the treasure chest of our heart. But donít fear, not all rich young rulers failed in their struggle with selfishness.

Still, it takes thought, effort and focus to practice valuing the things of God. You see, Godís treasures donít always feel very good and Iím often very selfish about my feelings.

What I do know is that Paul tells us to ďÖ work out your faith in fear and trembling.Ē So sometimes, I put the new DVD back on the store rack and thank God for what I have, instead of wondering where Iíll put the next one.

You see Iím trying to gain new treasure by faith. And though I donít see these stores growing, they still need to be maintained; love is unseen, but must be freely given; peace is achieved when I use the required force; patience cannot hear, though I need to apply it to listen. These new things I now value arenít any easier to manage than those in my house, but at least ďÖ moth and rustĒ canít get at them.

So Iíll keep on learning to value ďÖ the kingdom of God and His righteous.Ē Not until I get it right, but until Christ takes me home. Then Iíll see my treasures in Godís heart; what faith saw that my eyes couldnít, my hope realized, and love as it was meant to be.


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