What do you treasure? As one movie character put it, “What would you take with you if you had only one minute to pick it up before you were forced out?” The choices the characters made revealed their true values and motivations. In this issue of Peters Wife, Judi shares what she has learned about her treasures.
Moving My Treasures
Moving! Putting things in boxes. It is a balancing act. You can’t pack in one day and move the next. It has to be a process. A unique process. One that, even after five moves in five years, I have not perfected. You know what I am talking about, right? You try to figure out what things your family needs until that last second before you actually move your stuff. What are the things you need even while and after you move?
It never fails that I figure wrong. Bill walked in the bedroom this morning asking where the spoons were. Oops, I already packed the silverware! I guess we are eating out this morning. The coffee pot is still out, my Bible, the beds, summer clothes, the TV and computers are still working. The food is dwindling, all the dishes are packed, toys, winter clothes, games, books, school curriculum. “Mom, have you seen my Spiderman toy?” When your kids ask you for stuff that is already buried in a box, you find out what is important to them. What their treasures are.
In Matthew 6 Jesus speaks to us about storing up treasures on earth. He says that where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be also. I find it a gift from God that he has had us move so often and under unique circumstances. It has helped me to see what the priorities of life are and should be for me. It has been a process of trying to see life as God would want me to. He has moved our family to Russia and back, and now to Tennessee.
So what is important to Him? Let me give you some examples from our home:
- The time Bill spent yesterday with my oldest talking about how to find God’s direction in his life.
- Playing Rummy Cube with my girls and showing them how to lose gracefully.
- Laughing with my youngest over how God has created some of the funniest creatures on earth.
- Discussing God’s goodness to us with my husband.
- A cup of coffee with a dear friend who needs someone to talk to.
- Listening to my niece laugh over the phone.
- Reading a truth of God that has always been there but discovering it anew, as if it was just written.
These are things I can’t pack up. These are the treasure stored in my heart that will have an eternal impact. And as you can see, all of them are about people, not stuff.
I have told my kids that if they are finding it difficult to give something up, or if they are getting angry because they can’t have something, they need to look at their hearts. It may be that whatever that thing is or whoever it is, it is taking the place of God. God wants all of our heart not just part of it. He is the Lover of our souls. He knows how hard it is for us to leave friends or treasures behind, but he always fills the void with new blessings. Not only that, but we always have our memories, and they are a treasure that no one can steal
Moving has been good for my heart, for every move shakes me up and refines my values.
Editor’s Note: When we were living in Africa our car was stolen one evening during the prayer service. After we had looked everywhere for it and reported its loss, we were told not to expect that it would ever be returned. The other PWs came to console us. Instead, my husband started to pray by thanking God for all the things in our lives that could not be stolen. It is good for us to take stock of what our treasures are and thank God for those that can never be lost or stolen. Since each of you lives for the cause that counts, I am sure that you, too, can thank God for the things that no one can take away.