“And He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.'”
This week I was searching for another verse and stumbled upon this one and have to say I read it with new eyes. I think we all have our ideas of what greed is. It’s easy to pick it out when it manifests itself in some Scrooge-like manner like some miser bent over his collections or coins, but recently I’ve learned to recognize it when it shapeshifts into one of its more insidious forms. Anyone who has settled an estate probably knows what I’m talking about when I say there is a desire to ensure everything gets divided up equally. But it’s not always that simple, especially where “things” are concerned. And I find that same childish greed rise up at times to say, “Hey, he got more than I did!” All forms, the Bible says. And in the end, what does it really matter?
I think I’m just beginning to truly grasp hold of what “laying up treasures in heaven” is all about. We can use our money to buy more things down here, or we can invest it in the Kingdom and receive payment when we go home, which is the wiser of the two but for some reason can be harder to do. Perhaps that’s due to a lack of understanding. Or maybe we really don’t believe it.
In any event, last evening we went to my father-in-law’s to hold an “auction” of some of his model airplanes and equipment. He had two large sheds and they were both stuffed. Keep in mind that I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months cleaning out the house, bagging up his clothes and taking them to our clothing swap at the church, even finding old letters and sentimental things. But last night I was ambushed by emotion. When they started to bring his planes out–planes that he’d spent countless hours building, planes that were beautiful and meant a lot to him–I lost it. I started to cry and had to walk away. In many ways, building, flying, and spending time with others who did the same thing was his life. And I thought about how nothing will remain, everything will burn up, and as the planes and things were brought out of the sheds, purchased, and loaded into other vehicles it was like watching his ashes being scattered. And there’s a poem in there somewhere….