Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Found God At The Garage Sale...

If there was ever proof that you CANNOT TAKE IT WITH YOU when you die, it was demonstrated at the whole-house garage sale that my Mom and I completed for my in-laws. My husband's grandmother died after a 6-mth struggle with colon cancer. After the funeral, after the family divested the house of some furniture and various personal items, there was still a house PACKED with STUFF... stuff that had to be dealt with. Enter my mom and I - who offered to organize and run a whole-house garage sale...

84 years of living was priced in 3 days and sold in 2 -
with a last half-dozen boxes of misc. junk carted off to Goodwill
at the end of the sale.

A lifetime of "STUFF" - divided, sold, donated, trashed. Most of the "STUFF" was meaningless. We kept a toy train that my kids asked for: one that always circled GG's Christmas tree. We took an old Machinist's Handbook - that belonged to David's grandpa - his version of a graphing calculator or laptop. A piece of furniture here - a keepsake there... but the majority of items now rest in someone else's home... to one day be a part of their garage sales.

STUFF is meaningless.

STUFF can be lost, broken, sold, bartered, stolen, donated, trashed.

In fact, the "stuff" that really counts is not "stuff" at all: relationships, memories, words, actions, deeds, faith-- Those are the "things" that stick with people long after you're gone. Your bit of immortality on Earth are the memories people have of you and the stories they pass down. And your "ticket to Heaven" will not be given to you based on the amount of "stuff" you had on Earth.

"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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

God knows that your heart points to what you treasure most. Your actions clearly show that you value the most. Do you use your talents and gifts that He has given you by helping others, loving your neighbor, and acting selflessly? Or do you use these God-given gifts to just further your own agenda and accumulate more "stuff?"

If your treasure is your laptop, then your pleasure is tenuous at best: one computer virus away from destruction. Is your treasure money? Then you walk stressful line watching the stock prices or the Dow numbers... one fall away from a great depression. Is your treasure popularity? Do you fill yourself up with important "friends" to make yourself feel better or more important? People are fickle and can turn on you on a dime - this treasure lays on slippery ground.

BUT... If your treasure is in God - then you listen to His Word, act on His Behalf, and spread His Good News. These things are eternal - everlasting - unbreakable... and the blessings that befall you are real and powerful. God blesses His followers - on earth AND in Heaven.

So adjust your thinking! Realign your priorities! Purge out the useless STUFF in your life, and concentrate on what matters most: God, your Family, your friends, your service. Use the gifts God has blessed you with and pay-it-forward: Help someone!

Because, he who dies with the most stuff doesn't win... He who dies with the most stuff just leaves a lot of garbage for the rest of the family to deal with!!!
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Sue said...

My eyes landed on your post title in my sidebar, and I came to visit while eating breakfast. I have struggles in some of the areas you mentioned, but even with that, I know that I am Heaven bound through faith in Jesus. Even on days my laptop is more important to me than reading my Bible, I am still trusting God, but I know he wants my love and worship. Oh, and I do need to get rid of the clutter in my house. I want balance in my life.

I am sorry for your loss, by the way. I imagine you are glad the garage sale business is finished with.

MissyM said...

This is a beautiful post. I think we all need to remember where we should lay up our treasures.

Heather S. said...

It reminds me of "Labyrinth" where Sarah realizes that all the STUFF that she valued so much is really just junk. Lucky for her she was able to snap out of the trance and refocus on her journey. That part of the movie always makes me re-evaluate life.