As we grow older, many of us try to whittle down on our possessions. After all, we tell ourselves, we can’t take them with us when we die. While on earth, Jesus didn’t have to do that. He had no earthly possessions and He knew that one day He would be with His Father again, His Father who had everything Jesus would ever need or want. May we all choose such a freeing mindset!
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
The Pack Rat
I’ve been surprised to find three separate mice in three of my past vehicles. One ran along the floor while I was driving. It’s a good thing I’m not afraid of mice. One had built a nest in the glove compartment. And one shredded a whole box of tissue, creating a big mess as it attempted to build a nest in the back seat. I managed to capture all of them with mousetraps. Though they caused me some angst, I’m glad they weren’t big pack rats, which tend to hoard all sorts of objects. Some species even make complex nests with various rooms for storing their treasures.
The word hoard has gotten a bad rap over the years. We think of people who collect endless amounts of things they consider too valuable to sell, give away or discard. Many hoarders become so obsessed with their collections that the thought of parting with them causes anxiety and even grief. We often refer to them as pack rats.
Most of us are at least a little bit like the pack rat. We tend to hold onto some things so tightly that we can’t lose our grip. It could be a china set or rare book collection, money, jewelry, old newspapers or magazines. One man I read about insisted on being buried in his prize classic convertible. And so he was. Many such items of perceived value can tempt us to hang onto them until they become like pack rat nests.
Jesus warns us not to hoard. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21) And Mark 8:36 asks, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Our hoarded gains can become our losses, if we allow.
No matter the value of our earthly collectibles or our pleasures, we should want to trade them for Jesus’ love and everlasting life with Him. Only He can give us invaluable joy, peace, completeness, salvation from our sin and life eternal.
Lord, thank You for being more valuable than anything we might be tempted to hold onto—whether person, place or thing. Help us invest ourselves in You and Your everlasting kingdom instead of temporary, earthly riches. In Jesus’ name, amen.