The house was filled with family, as it often is on Sunday afternoons. But seven year old Stephen was all alone in the den, stretched out in a wing backed recliner, set almost to a horizontal position, watching the hockey game on the big screen TV. He looked like the king of the castle. He could not have looked more satisfied if he were stretched out on a beach in Hawaii.
When Paul came in, Stephen looked around the room and said, "Grandad, how did you get all of this stuff?"
Paul said, "It took a very long time. And remember Stephen, it is just stuff."
His brother and sisters were playing in the next room with their cousins, but Stephen was pondering life and the aquisition of material goods.
When Paul told me this story, we laughed at Stephen's curiosity. God has blessed us with a beautiful home; in trust. It is really his.
We try to make it a place of welcome and it is a well used house where no one worries too much if things get scratched or broken. Nothing matches too perfectly, but everything is well loved; the air is filled frequently with the aroma of large dinners cooking; and its walls hold the echoes of laughter, voices raised in prayer and of many friendly conversations.
And that is the "stuff "after all, that really matters.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (New International Version)
9However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.