Friday, April 7, 2017

When you wonder what it's all for

I love walking the streets of my neighborhood at dusk.
It's my favorite time of the day.
One of the streets our family fondly calls "the rich street" because 
the large homes sit majestically in the middle of well manicured lawns
under tall, ancient trees that umbrella them with long, rugged branches.
As I quietly wander past these peaceful estates, I often wonder about the people who live in them.
What do they do for a living?
Are they sitting by the big, picture windows in a comforting easy chair
with a cup of coffee watching the sun set?
Are they even home?
The street is always so quiet and I have never actually seen anyone
 coming or going into these homes.

 Recently, as I was driving home from a busy morning away, I noticed a sign.
It pointed in the direction of these homes and said, "Estate Sale."
I followed the sign to find many cars lining the street and more signs pointing
directly to the home with the sale.
All-of-a-sudden,  I had a free golden ticket to walk right down the driveway
to one of these grand places with an opportunity to simply walk right
in to the open front door.
Last week, I could only walk by on the street at arm's length with privacy laws
keeping me wondering what happened behind such beautiful doors.
Today, I could simply walk right into the kitchen
where on display was the most breath-taking collection of vintage, floral china 
and gleaming crystal I had ever seen.
I almost felt like I was intruding as I tip-toed on plush carpet up the stairs and
into the hallway cedar closet.
Here I was looking through the clothing and collectibles and sentimental jewelry
and treasured books and bathrooms of complete strangers.
Their whole entire lives where laid out on stacked tables with little price tags on
each and every piece. 
And what big, grand, glorious lives it seemed they had lived.
Based on the abundant treasures stuffed in every room.

But what happened?  
Had they passed away?
Moved to an assisted living facility?
Had their family already come through and culled out what they wanted?
And this is what is left over?
I left that day with an even stronger sense that life is but a vapor.

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of
man as the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away......"
I Peter 1:24

Several years ago I discovered the wonder of researching my own genealogy. 
What fascinating stories to be uncovered.
Weaving characters from my family tree into the pages of this nation's
history left me breathless at times.
But I also grew disheartened.
Of all the information available through modern technology,
I was limited to what was permanently documented.
Any given person's life was mapped out simply by a handful of events:
birth, the national census, draft cards, marriage, and death.

That's it.
That's all I know about my great-great-grandparents who led full, busy lives.
I can tell you where they were born, who their parents were, where they lived, if they went to war,
when they died and the cause, and where they are buried.

I can't tell you if they liked their neighbors.
I can't tell you their favorite colors, or if they played an instrument.
I can't tell you about their faith, or how they came to find their faith community.
I have no idea if they attended church regularly.
I don't know what they liked to have for breakfast
or if they drank coffee.
I don't know what size shoe they wore or if they voted Republican, Democrat, or something else.

They lived 70, 80 years on this earth rising everyday with the sun, raising their families,
and it's like they are complete strangers to me.
Nothing left.
I have no memories of them.

I drove away from that estate sale that day with a heightened awareness
of the fact that all the things we run ourselves ragged over to get done
really mean nothing in the long run.

Our central purpose is wrapped up in this:

"But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation,
a peculiar people,
that you should show forth the praises of him 
who hath called you out of darkness
 into his marvelous light."
I Peter 2:9

That's it.
Our central purpose.
To give glory and praise to our Creator.
Because of the great mercy He has shown to us.

The baubles we grasp for and cling to?

The accomplishments and trophies we exhaust ourselves trying to obtain?
Garage sale items.

You may live on the fanciest street with a house full of treasures,
but what will you be remembered for?

"...the flower thereof falls away:
But the word of the Lord endures forever."

I think I'll continue working to focus on the things unseen.
The things that will go on with me into eternity.
The souls of my children and my husband.

The time spent talking to my children about things that really matter.
Seeing things from God's point of view and not our society's.
Building up my faith community and equipping and encouraging the saints
to keep the Kingdom of God moving forward and growing!

Letting my life be a fragrant incense of praise and glory to my Savior.

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