I enjoy history. Whether it is the genealogy of my family, the development of the Americas, or the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, I think there is something to be learned from most good and bad aspects of history in this world. The older people get, the more they tend to long for things of the past. I appreciate nostalgia and reminiscing about the ‘good old days’, whether they be 5, 15, or 30 years ago. I even enjoy listening to stories of things that happened decades or centuries before I was born. I also realize that the good old days were not always so good. There were challenges with using horses for transportation, just as using cars can be a challenge today. There have been people who did evil things to others since the beginning of time as well. When we tend to glamorize what was, over what is, we may be trying to alter reality and not just criticizing the current state of things. The times and technology are always changing, but it can still be fun to play an LP or an 8 track from time to time. What things from the past do you hold on to, or most miss?
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin 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
The other thing that people tend to hold on to is a variety of things. We become enthralled and distracted by shiny things in life, and it can take most any form. Whether it is just simply money, or the worth we attach to things such as houses, cars, clothes, electronics, toys, food and drink, or family heirlooms, it can be anything that we feel has some value in our lives. It is not all bad, as we need some things to get the job done and do the work of living we need to do. Everything can be helpful when used properly. But when that thing turns from just a vehicle to get the job done to an item of pride, or dare I say, worship in our lives, then it has crossed the line. The accumulation of money and things tends to allow room for greed in one’s life and limits the ability to give and bless others. Again, it can happen with anything, but the challenge is to realize when you are crossing that line and to put things back in their proper place. We need to repent and turn our attention to what matters more than stuff, namely people.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
The one thing that we should hold on to most is the hope of our faith and commitment to Christ. When everything else is worn out or broken down, the one thing that endures is our relationship to God and to others in this life, and the influence that has. Maybe your cell phone will be in a museum someday, but most things in this world do not last too long anymore. The time, energy and money we invest in others will give a better return than the latest gadget. Living a minimalist life, like a hermit, may not be the best solution, but putting things in the proper perspective is for everyone’s benefit, now and in the future.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Yours in Christ,