…Because you are precious in my eyes,
you are honored, and I love you. – Isaiah 43:1,4
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? – John 14:1-2
“Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:20
Once in a while I remember to turn the camera lens away from everything else that is happening in the world around me and capture an image of Rebekah.
I am always glad that I did.
This week she is spending a few days in Virginia Beach, helping our brother-in-law Tom sort through the mountain of stuff left behind when his wife – Rebekah’s sister Rachel – died so suddenly and so young at the beginning of this year.
Tom is retired after a stellar career as a Naval officer; he kind of likes things ship-shape. Rachel was absolutely not a ship-shape kind of a person! Rachel – who was a reading specialist and musician – had countless projects in progress, and boundless creativity, and craft stuff going on, and professional-level skills in sewing and design, and so many ideas, and all the paraphernalia imaginable to support whatever cottage industry she was always on the verge of launching.
Tom doesn’t know what most of that stuff even is.
So Rebekah and her sister/cousin Zandra are attempting to begin organizing – or I believe a better word is “excavating.”
Life and stuff:
This whole process is a reminder that life itself is a completely separate thing from all the “stuff” we accumulate over the years. Not that there is anything wrong with stuff – and it certainly has its place in our lives – but that we have to understand what is real and what is temporary, what is eternal and what is not, what holds its value and what decays, what is sustainable and what ultimately ends up in one more row of storage units.
It’s interesting to see what falls on the “real” side of the equation. Real is not anything we can buy, or sell, or trade, or store, or box up.
So it is Rachel’s faith, her relationship with God, her family, the photographs, the memories, the shared love, the journey through life together that is the gold they are mining and the treasure that can never be boxed away.
Spreadsheet – “Net Worth”
So I am 65 now. So I have a spreadsheet with assets, and liabilities, and various accounts, and projections. I don’t like enumerating all this stuff but I have to. It’s impossible to make reasonable plans going forward – at least not when you’re 65 – without understanding these things. The spreadsheet has a bottom line too. The bottom line is labeled “Net Worth.”
My real net worth, however, turns out to be priceless; unquantifiable; infinite; beyond imagination. I am “precious” in the eyes of God, I am “God’s handiwork,” I have “been called out of darkness,” 1 Peter 2:9 declares, “and into his wonderful light…”
That is a real as it gets. And this reality is never, as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 6:20, subject to moths, or rust, or thieves, or destruction…
Peace, and more peace – DEREK
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.