This weekend I went with my husband to a tool collector’s auction and annual meeting. It was a wonderful group of people. The men were very knowledgeable about tools and the women had a vast knowledge of collectibles as well. It was a nice weekend, getting to know some new friends.
On Saturday night they always gather at one man’s home in a large two story barn that he built. He built the barn to hold all his vast collections. There were more interesting old items in that barn than I’ve ever seen. But as I looked at all the walls loaded with stuff I felt a sadness. All that stuff, all that treasure being stored up…on earth.
The scripture says we are not to store up our treasures on earth, but are instead to store them up in heaven where moth and rust will not destroy.
I have no problem with people who enjoy collecting things. I think it’s fun to learn about how things are made and used throughout history. But there was something sad about seeing this man’s life work displayed in his barn and knowing he can’t take any of it with him into Eternity. I overhead several of the older men talking together about what arrangements they are going to have to make for all their stuff when they die. One man teared up and said he didn’t know what to do since none of his children were interested in what he’d spent his life accumulating. How sad.
It also made me think of the story of the rich young ruler. He asked Jesus what he needed to do for salvation and Jesus ended the conversation with direction to sell all he had, give to the poor and follow him. The young man went away grieved because he was so rich.
I’ve spent the past three decades raising a houseful of boys. We didn’t have the money to spend on expensive toys or extras. What we have isn’t worth much but we’ve still managed to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. But I have to ask myself if Jesus asked me today to part with my stuff, little as that may be, would I be willing? Is my stuff standing between me and my Lord?
Would I be willing to sell all I have, give to the poor and follow Him?
Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.