“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and dust destroy; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” ~Jesus [matthew 6.19-20]
Last weekend when I was back home in Vidor, my mom and dad informed me that the house that I spent many sick days from school and 4pm coffee breaks on a daily basis is going to have to be destroyed soon. I had the amazing privilege of living right across the street from the most amazing great-grandparents in the world. They lived in this ultra-small house that was built back toward the beginning of last century on a monster plot of land that would later house my house, my grandparents, and a few sets of aunts and uncles. Tell me you’re not jealous of small town life right now!
Their house may have been suitable for a one-bedroom apartment by today’s standards, but it definitely didn’t feel like that growing up. I remember going over to that house almost daily growing up for a special concoction made just for me because I couldn’t really drink coffee with the grown-ups. We would sit, talk, drink, and share life with each other. Nothing much more seemed to matter than what was happening right at that moment. My great-grandfather would come in from a long days work in his garden and sit with us, all dirty and tired, and tell cool stories from when he was growing up in the boonies of Louisiana.
My great-grandmother (GG) could make the most out of practically anything on earth. Even though the roof of her little white house was falling in around her, she managed to do something that cost absolutely nothing to make it to where you never noticed the imperfections. But, even if the inside of this place didn’t look like the real White House, you could always expect the outside to be thriving with amazing plants encompassing the place.
The years have passed now, one after another, since they have moved on to their real mansion, and little by little, that beautiful relic of what was, has become little more than a heap of rubbish.
As I tip-toed through the house with Sara and my parents, I was reminded how completely useless all these things that we accumulate really are. When I think about the way they lived their lives, the word “simplicity” comes to mind right off. They didn’t live their lives around getting the newest, cutest things that Target has this month… they were all about “reduce, reuse, recycle”.
Yet, when they threw shovel-load after shovel-load of dirt over that silver box in the ground years ago, the only thing that fit in the box was a ratty old suit… and even that didn’t get magically transported to eternity.
When I sit back and think about where I want to be in 30 years or so, those two people almost always come to mind. No, they didn’t change the world in some amazing way that would be cause for a bestselling book. But, somehow, deep down I think they really got it. They lived and loved Jesus with a very simple whole-hearted devotion. They loved their family like crazy. They were devoted to the church until the very last day.
They never got too wrapped up in the things of this world. And for that reason, I don’t really think it would be that big of a deal for them to see the few things that they possessed on this earth sitting in ruins about to be bulldozed and spread across a field that used to be flourishing and now is simply overgrown. They would probably just laugh and say, “yup, that’s what we thought would happen to all that crap!”