It’s hard to write creatively when I’m annoyed, stressed, upset, and generally ticked off! So I’m reminded of how critically important it is to keep things in perspective, and to heed Christ’s commandment to remember what is important and what isn’t.
But sometimes it’s difficult to walk with Jesus when the world presses in, and it’s difficult to live “kingdom lives” when so much of the focus of day-to-day life engages us with situations, and values, and standards, and actions, and priorities that stand in direct opposition to Christ’s invitation to live in, and for, his kind of peace.
I suspect that’s why Jesus was so consummately uninterested in material possessions. Jesus described so much of what dominates our lives as stuff that, “moth and rust consume and thieves break in and steal…” (Matthew 6:19-21)
It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend after the financial free fall of 2008-2009:
“Our investments have been hit hard,” she said; “we’ve lost around $250,000!”
“That’s so sad,” I said. “When the market tanked Rebekah and didn’t lose a dime!”
“What’s your secret?” she wanted to know.”Maybe we need to talk to your broker…”
“Easy-peasy,” I replied. “You can’t lose when you don’t have anything to begin with!”
My angst today – and it’s been considerable over the past 24 hours – is due to a “thieves breaking in and stealing” situation. And it makes me all too conscious of the tension that resides at the place where our day to day lives intersect with – overlap – God’s kingdom, and the unavoidable reality that we do actually live in a world where what we value (and need) is temporary and perishable.
But this is where we live. We live in a broken world where bad stuff happens and sometimes it catches us off guard. But our faith has to be strong enough that we bring grace along with us, rather than the brokenness having its way, and weakening our relationship to God and our commitment to carry the Kingdom with us.
RESOLVED: So I am resolved to do what I can to deal with the fact that someone stole money from our bank account… but at the same time to remember – and live into – the more important truth that the treasure that is God’s peace, God’s presence, and God’s purpose is never threatened by rust, moths, or thieves.
Today I’m considering the lilies in my field, I’m hugging the dog who never worries about a thing, and I’m thanking God for all the amazing blessings of a life rooted in grace, mercy, promise, and love…. And I’m taking the prudent steps necessary to hopefully recover our losses and be more secure in the future.
My treasure is my life as a disciple of Jesus, lived confidently with my family, and encouraged by the wonderful community of faith where we worship.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.- Matthew 6:19-21
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.