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‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be’

Footsteps to Follow

What is success? We all want to be successful, but when you look at how you spend your time, talents, and treasure, do you feel satisfied that you have spent them well; that the outcome will be worth it? Will you look back and say that you have been successful in life?

I ask this because it has been on my mind quite a bit. I have felt a little weary and a little discouraged. Some of the jobs planned for this summer are still not done and are unlikely to find a place in my schedule any time soon. This is also true of many of the activities I love to do in the early autumn. Things haven’t worked out as “planned.”

I also see some of the tough road that is ahead and feel worried and uninspired. You see, my family has chosen to be a foster resource home, and that has precluded the freedom to pursue some other opportunities and has brought along some real challenges. To be honest, there are times that I have questioned our decision.

I realize, though, that I need to remember the Apostle Paul’s words, inspired by God, in Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) “let us not grow weary while doing good.” I was getting weary and needed to recall that the things that are making me too busy are much better than an organized garage and a finished home improvement project. They will outlast the pleasure of the selfish dreams I had of laid-back evenings and relaxing activities filling my calendar. Investing in the lives of others pays dividends for everyone “down the road,” but that’s the struggle: The rewards are often “down the road” a ways and can be hard to see.

We all can fall prey to judging success by dreams we have built based on fantasy and faulty priorities. The fantasy is the composite of ideals we create based on the accomplishments of multiple people; we believe that we should have all the possessions and achievements of all the people we admire. The faulty priorities come from believing that possessions, experiences and social position will bring lasting happiness and an enduring sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, enough always seems to be one item, one experience, or one advancement away.

Looking again at Paul’s writings, this time in Galatians, we are told that we reap what we sow. If we sow only earthly things, that is what we will reap, and earthly things quickly fade and pass away. If, however, we sow spiritual things, we reap things that are spiritual and thus eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18.) Jesus himself said in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I am working hard on keeping that eternal perspective and daily making the choice to lay up treasures in heaven. Will you join me? There are many ways we can use our varied resources to further God’s agenda rather than our own. I think we all will be glad we did the day we stand before Christ.

The Rev. Todd Baker is a pastor at First Baptist Church, Elimsport.