Jump Start # 2827
Luke 12:15 “Then He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Possessions are a funny thing. We work hard to acquire them and in time our possessions can possess us. As most of our readers know, my father passed away in January. The funeral has taken place. Now, comes the task of going through all his stuff and selling the house. When the last parent passes, there are so many things to do and so many decisions. A common experience that so many I know are going through, is that when a parent has lived late into their 80’s or 90’s, as my dad had, there is so much that has accumulated through the years. Papers and papers. Newspaper clippings. Old funeral cards. Books. And, mountains of things that someone, in our case, us, must sort through and make a decision on.
Here are some things I see:
First, what was important to one person is not so important to others. This is especially true as we go from one generation to the next. Most young people are not interested in their grandparents things. They don’t have the room and it doesn’t mean that much to them. We save things to remind us of vacations, special events and what was important to us. But time passes. Another generation looks at those things and they don’t know the story behind them and they don’t understand why those things were saved.
But, it’s really no different for most of us. I spent a good hour yesterday filing pages I copied from some religious paper printed in the 1800’s. The pages were about long ago Indiana preachers. Interesting to me. Love that stuff. But, that’s all it is, stuff. There will come a day when someone will have to go through all of that and those old names of those old preachers just may not mean much to them.
Second, what we remember the most about a person is not the things in their house, but what we treasure in our hearts. Lamps, furniture, whatnots fill our homes, but what fills our hearts are the love, the talks, the laughter, the good times, the smiles, the tears. This is what pulls us to the funeral home. It’s not what they owned, but what that person meant to us. And, the same is true about us. We surround ourselves with all kinds of things that we have purchased and accumulated through the years, but what our children, friends, and brethren will remember about us will be love, encouragement, kindness and walk with the Lord. Those things can never be taken away from us.
Third, purging his hard for some. Much of that task fell to me. I can do it quickly and I rifled through dad’s massive desk in a very short time. I have already purged a house that belonged to a relative that also lived into her 90’s. So, I learned to give something a two-second look. Save it. Give it away. Trash. Bags and bags were filled.
And, this is a great lesson for us. Not so much purging the things in our homes, which isn’t a bad idea to do now and then, but more so, to purge the things that we store in our minds. Get rid of bad feelings about others. Pitch the reminders of how others have hurt you. Move on from the good that you have done. Purging our minds is harder for some than cleaning out a house. Some just can’t get over how they were treated. Years later, even decades, they are still talking about those things. Church splits that happened forty years ago come up in current conversations with some. It’s time to get a mental trash bag and do some cleaning out. You’ll feel better after you do that. Sometimes we just need to raise the windows of our minds and air out. Things can get stuffy, moldy and old in our heads. You’ll also find yourself being able to sleep better and being more calm once you’ve dumped the junk from your minds.
Fourth, the time is getting close when it will be the last time that I walk through dad’s old house. He lived there nearly fifty years. I still remember when he bought that house. I was the first to sleep in that house before my family moved down there. I never lived there. I was in college and quickly out on my own. I’ve spent a few nights there through the years, but for me, it was where dad was. The house needs a ton of updating. And, I know the new owners will make some dramatic changes to it. And, they should, it will be their home.
And, all of this reminds me that there is a day coming when I will walk through this old world for the last time. This is the only place I have know. No more sunrises. No more moons at night. No more rain falling gently through the trees. No more birds singing in the morning. Cool air. Hot days. I wonder if there will be a sadness to know that I won’t see this place any more? But where we are headed is so wonderful we may not even think about this old world anymore. We sing, “This world is not my home,” but for a lifetime it has been. It’s all that we’ve known. It has been a blessing from God to live in such a wonderful, wonderful place.
Life does not consist of possessions. That a good reminder.