The things we treasure

By Helen Guilford

Oh! How I hate when this happens! Yet, I did it again. I had worked on this column for a considerable time and then my inexcusable fingers took a tour on their own and deleted the whole thing! There’s just one thing to do – start over.

Recently when my nephew and niece were here I told them to let me know when they would be seeing their daughter again as she lives several hours’ drive away. Almost in unison, they said, “Weekend after this.” Oh! Well, now I had a target date to be ready so I’d best get busy.

A couple of years ago, I was wondering where my black onyx ring was and had gone on a treasure hunt for it. In fact, maybe I mentioned it in a column for I even went searching in the most unlikely place – the garage! All to no avail.

This time, I was just going through things to eliminate all I can before a September move. My eyes settled on two cardboard boxes safely packed away on top of a chest of drawers also in the garage. When I opened one of them I found “treasures” I had put in storage over six years ago when my roommate moved in and needed more space.

Opening a dresser-top jewelry box, what stared right at me? The elusive black onyx ring. It was special because Mom and Dad had given it to me as a keepsake for my achieving my MA degree from Eastern Kentucky University. I wore it quite a lot but eventually I had to quit wearing rings and I put it away. Though sidelined, it was still treasured and I wanted it given to a special niece.

Another item in that box will not get passed on to someone else –a $50 bill! It was neatly folded and tucked into the inside of the lid of that jewelry box. Though I wonder how that happened, I don’t question what to do with it.

By the time the ring makes it to southern Indiana, the $50 bill will be long spent and forgotten. Check the price of groceries if you doubt that.

One of the losses of not marrying and having children is there is no one next in line to receive all these things I treasure. Maybe that’s good! I watched my nieces and nephews go through the process of settling their parents’ estates. One family left it to the nearest sibling; the other tried to work together to take care of it. Neither was an ideal choice. But the job does fall to the children of the family.

Treasures of the deceased are no longer treasures. They become just “stuff”.

In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we are cautioned not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth but, rather, to lay up treasures in heaven where they will be preserved and revered. Again, the reason? In heaven our treasures are safe from the wear and tear of daily life and from thieves. Then we are given the reason, “where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

Though it speaks of material treasures, I think we are also cautioned about the kinds of treasures we’ve been considering here. Give your heart to Jesus and let Him be the One who provides for the future. You can’t go wrong there.

By Helen Guilford