Friday, May 14, 2010

Sifting through Treasures

Fridays with Susan...

Daughter-in-law Heather came over today with her Sweet William, accompanied by Andrew who stayed and helped for a few hours before going off to work.  While William played in the baby jail, as we affectionately call it, we went through "stuff".  Heather finished off the mudroom we had mostly done on Monday and then tackled the books upstairs. She culled hundreds, if not thousands of children's books from eight shelves down to one.  I stayed downstairs and sifted through boxes and boxes of papers and treasures of all kinds.  Not as productive as Heather, I managed to cull about one-third of what I went through.  But it was good to see the "junk" go into one pile, the good stuff I don't want go into another for others to enjoy, and the good stuff I do want, carefully set aside to be properly stored and/or to be put back into good use.  We are downsizing from eleven crammed rooms to seven as we turn the upstairs of our house into an apartment for Heather and Andrew and William.  We're looking forward to their moving in sometime in mid to late summer.

I have to admit I was more than a bit overwhelmed by the "wealth" I have accumulated.  I found letters from dear ones who have long since left this world and those are the things, I think, I treasure most.  But I also sifted through several archive boxes of journals and sermon notes, and even some old poems and songs I had written and long forgotten. 

A day spent like that brings one to a place of introspective evaluation.  I am quickly approaching the end of what is generally considered "middle age" as I come up to what is scarily referred to as "the golden years" or  "the twilight years".  Going through all that stuff today, much of which remains to be put into useful form for others, has taken any fear out of that journey for me.  There is no other juncture in my life where I have had the stash of wisdom and resources like this which have been culled from a life of living.  God has poured in a lot of stuff over the last twenty years or so!  The time is coming to begin to sift that pile, both the seen and the unseen, to cull out of it the lessons which might be the most useful to others.

One of the things I ran across was a short note I had made on a non-descript piece of paper.  I doubt anyone else would realize what a treasure it is.  But to me it sums up so much more than would appear at first glance.  I could write sermon after sermon after sermon around these five short lines.  The prose leaves much to be desired, but the sentiment, based on Matthew 6:33 burns in my heart with more fire today than on the day I wrote it down in Raleigh, North Carolina, more than twenty years ago.  Perhaps because then I wrote it down in faith, hoping that it was something that would be realized in my life.  In retrospect, I can see  the writing of that note was the beginning of a period in my life where God allowed everything else to be stripped away - including even my sanity for a time - in order to begin the process of bringing this cry of my heart into fruition. And now, having been through all that, these words have become so precious.  Not because I've "arrived", but because he is in control of the journey.

Seek the Lord...  not his provision.
Desire God...  not worldly things.
Set your heart on Jesus himself!
Seek His Kingdom...  not what it brings.
Seek His Kingdom... not what it brings.

I suspect there will be more on this in the coming days...

1 comment:

Belinda said...

How beautiful your lines are! I will try to find a place to keep them in the sidebar!

This culling ia just like mine in the loft room--what treasure you will have to share with us.