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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, I’ve been like this most of my life… perhaps like you?

As a kid, I liked to capture all the ‘Blue Belly’ 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 haven’t 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 books… 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 I’m in. I just like having things around me that remind me… of me.

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

I won’t 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 what’s in the treasure chest of our heart. But don’t 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, God’s treasures don’t always feel very good and I’m often very selfish about my feelings.

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

You see I’m trying to gain new treasure by faith. And though I don’t 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 aren’t any easier to manage than those in my house, but at least “… moth and rust” can’t get at them.

So I’ll keep on learning to value “… the kingdom of God and His righteous.” Not until I get it right, but until Christ takes me home. Then I’ll see my treasures in God’s heart; what faith saw that my eyes couldn’t, my hope realized, and love as it was meant to be.


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