Treasure

We got up early in the morning, kind of like kids do when they’re excited to open their Christmas stockings. But we weren’t getting up to check to see what Santa brought us. We were leaving early, on our way to Saskachewan, to spend Christmas with my mom!

It’s not unusual for people to travel great distances in order to spend the holidays with family. It was snowing and blowing but that didn’t deter us because turkey, ham, and all the trimmings were waiting for us at our destination. We made good time and rolled in by mid afternoon.

This road had been traveled many times before, however, this time was different. This would be the last time we could all be together at what we all called home for so many years. This place we simply called “the farm”, this place we were all raised, this place that had so many memories ... this place that would belong to someone else at the end of the year. The farm was being sold and we had only a short time to sort things out.

My brother had rented a U-haul truck to take some of the stuff to mom’s new place in the city. It turned out to be plenty big enough to do the job. It should have been no surprise that there would be a lot of stuff to throw out. In fact, we had a large burn pit that was built strategically behind the trees in the pasture. It was the size of a small house! We filled it a couple of times.

Where did all this stuff come from? Well, you can’t live on a farm for some sixty years without there being an accumulation of junk. It wasn’t always junk. Excess moisture in the area flooded the basement several times. Items had been set aside when my dad was living to be fixed up. You know, chairs that needed reinforcement and electronics that might be brought back to life. There were things that were kept just in case and things that were kept to be recycled (that never would be).

In the end we found that what the Bible says makes a lot of sense. In one of Jesus’ sermons he taught the people, “Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19,20).

There weren’t thieves breaking down the doors to steal (we would have been happy to let them have much of it). We did find that the “treasures” from the farm got old, broken, rusty, and mildewed up. Much of it wouldn’t even be useful enough to sell at a second hand place. And it was impossible to give it away too.

We didn’t bring much home, a few pictures and scrapbooks. The best we brought home, however, was the treasure of spending time with family, of enjoying one another’s company, of encouraging one another in our faith. These are the kinds of treasures that Jesus was talking about when he said that moths can’t eat, rust can’t destroy, and thieves can’t steal.

C.T. Studd was a missionary to China, India, and Africa about 100 years ago. He ends a poem that embodies Jesus’ teaching on placing your treasure where it counts. “Only one life,’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

How can I store treasure in heaven? Where can I start? Jesus said that all of the law and prophets hang on two commandments. “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.” Do this and you’ll have treasure stored in heaven.