Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31 . . . what really matters.

May 31st is no ordinary day for me. Of course, for most, the last day of May is just that...the day before glorious June - the Summer approaches! But for me, it is always a poignant memory-filled day, because my Dad was born on May 31, 1929.

Dad died in 1998, so you'd think I would be used to not hearing his voice on the telephone by now. For the most part, I am. But every so often, the strings of my heart are tugged, and I miss my dear old dad. (He never seemed old to me, though. He was always a busy, vibrant man, with people to see and places to go and things to accomplish. He died before he hit 70, so I suppose he never was old. Not really.)

Today I was helping a friend organize stuff for a massive garage sale. This friend used to own a restaurant, and she has a gift for decorating and making every special day or activity an EVENT. Over the years she amassed stuff to do just that: candles, clocks, antiques, baskets, knick-knacks, memorabilia, stoneware, pottery, gardening things, and so on. She has enough stuff to fill a 7,500 square foot space!

As we were going through each box, sorting the contents into categories, I could see that this friend has many memories of good times with loved ones. Most objects she looked at brought back a memory of an incident long ago, with her husband (now deceased) or her dad, or a close friend. Sometimes she hesitated as she thought about whether or not she wanted to keep something, but common sense prevailed. She is moving to a much smaller place, and she cannot keep everything.

I think about the memories I have of my dad, my mom, my grandparents, all gone... and I realize that I cannot keep everything. Memories fade. Objects get old and dusty, or rusty, or (worse!) musty, smelling of mold or mouse droppings. Even though some objects are special, they are all temporary, and really amount to nothing when you really think about it.

When I leave this life, I, too, will be going on to a very different place. Not smaller, but bigger than I can even imagine. Yet I won't need a thing. Not one item I own now, or may own in the future, will mean anything to me when I pass "beyond the veil". The only thing that will matter is Jesus.

Nothing else matters.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Psalms 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I am commenting on my own blog, because what John Piper says below is worth paying attention to:

Dr. John Piper, author and senior pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church of Minneapolis, spoke recently at a "New Attitude" conference.

Piper exhorted the young believers to work hard toward their spiritual goals, warning them against laziness. At the same time, Piper advanced the notion of humility, making it clear that hard work isn't "decisive" for achieving those goals.

"Don’t spare any effort to know your Bible ... Don’t ever think your hard work is the decisive key. The decisive key is the sovereign grace of God. I plead with you, don’t waste your life," Piper said.