One Man’s Trash

IMG_3850Forty plus years of enjoying the home my wife and I had built with our own hands was coming to an end. Fifty years in the antiques business also needed to be closed out. We were preparing to move into much smaller quarters. The accumulation of ‘treasures’ in home and shop was mind-boggling. We decided an online auction was the best way to dispose of the shop’s contents and our personal furnishings. The number of items photographed and cataloged soared into the thousands. The offerings ranged from what I believed to be rare and expensive pieces to inexpensive collectibles to what might be euphemistically called ‘junk’.

For me, the auction validated a familiar old saying: “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Or more appropriately for me, “My treasures were deemed trash by others.” My heart sank when a precious piece of glass or fine china brought pennies on the dollar. Then my heart soared when a pile of old, rusty iron items generated more than expected.

When I was an aspiring young anthropology student, I was enthralled by one of my distinguished professor’s definition of ‘man’. He said man is the only creature on earth that is “an incurable collector of worthless junk”. Man collects things that he cannot eat, use for shelter, or otherwise utilize to survive. People garner to themselves objects to which they ascribe value, but that have no real value for sustaining their life. Watching the items pass through the auction, I can only affirm the truth of the statements about trash, treasure, and junk mentioned above.

Never before had the words of Jesus spoken so directly to me. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

When the two auctions needed to disperse everything finally ended, I was given a check and the physical items were all gone. They brought a pittance of what I believed their monetary value really was.  I praise the Lord that the real treasures are memories connected with the people, events, and objects we had shared with those who entered our home. The dining table might be gone, but the remembrances of meals and fellowship around it will accompany us into heaven. The furniture in our family room was sold to the highest bidder, but faces, laughter, tears, and prayers are indelibly etched in our minds and in our hearts. They are crown jewels that will forever adorn our heavenly home.

Prayer: Lord, let us hold loosely to earthly possessions. May we strive to store up treasures in Heaven. Help us to know that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.

~ Brother Roy

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