I remember looking at the clock anxiously but frustrated that it only read 8:00pm. Four hours till Christmas, That felt like an eternity to a 9 year old wondering what his parents had bought him for Christmas. What video game would await me, screaming to me, beckoning me to unwrap it and liberate in unto the joyous freedom of my genesis, to be played hours without end.The waiting was excruciating, it seemed like every second took a couple of years, the second hand almost seemed like it was moving in reverse, that tick ever so slow, even the sound echoed in slow motion.
Every now and then I still get that feeling, except a little more subdued. It happened recently when my wife mentioned she might buy me Nba 2k11; a game so riveting it was described by one magazine as, ‘the greatest sports game ever ‘. Immediately I foresaw the hours of unrivaled joy as I laid waste my online competition, laughing at their ineptitude.
But now a little bit older my senses crept in and said, that game costs $60.00. No way am I going to spend 60 of my hard earned dollars on a video game. My dream quickly was gunned down by reality. Though I would have loved the joy of competing online simulating the most realistic nba gaming ever, I valued my hard earned money too much. One was not worth giving up for the other. I had two treasures but one was more valuable.
More recently I have been meditating on the passage in Matthew 6:19 where it says
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
I am reminded of how useless the things I desire are, how little value they add, how their entertainment value quickly loses its appeal. Which is why even with tv, every must see game or show is followed by another best game of the year, or by another sports season Which is why every Christmas, children already bored with their old toys, long for new ones which too will perish and lose their value, only to be buried in a closet or garage to be discovered by the visiting kid who never had that toy, or found in a garage sale.
When we are not storing up toys, its money, its relationships, its music, food, sermons, you can feel in the blank. But Christ warns us against an unhealthy attachment to earthly things and to place our mind on heavenly things, things that do not perish.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
There is a depth to this passage that I will not try to exhaust right now, but one of the key points that Christ makes is that heavenly treasures never lose their value, they are incorruptible;eternal. The key to these two verses are the contrast in what is viewed as a treasure. In the first verse the treasure is seen from our eyes, in the latter the treasure is seen in God’s eyes. This applies even in ministry. We might treasure the eloquent or creative sermon, the flawless music during worship, large mega church decked out with all the bells and whistles of technology, while God looks at the humility in our message, the sincerity in our song, and the time spent in his presence, and a church with a passion for his name, word, and for the lost.
Where is your heart? What do you value? What do you long for and is it the same thing God longs for?
My prayer is that we would treasure that which God does, and store up treasures with him, because ultimately He is our treasure and our exceedingly great reward.