“It’s my turn for the red glass!” seven-year-old David complained around the breakfast table and he reached for the shiny tumbler full of milk.
“Not! It’s mine!” His younger sister, Della, protested as he replaced it with his blue one.
Soon the milk glasses were moving around the table faster and faster as if they were on a carousel ride at the fair.
“Mine! It’s my day!” cried, Della. Just then, an inner-family ambassador of good will might have helped, but she was at the store and Dad was working.
“Mom said she’d get another one at the grocery store. You can wait for that one. I had dibs first.”
As two school-aged siblings glared at each other with the tension as thick as peanut butter, they didn’t see the milk splashed all over the table, walls, plates and bowls. The metal tumblers had traveled more miles at breakfast than Phileas Fog in Around the World in 80 Days [Jules Verne]. They looked like it. Now, each reflected battle scars and scrapes. The tiff had been all over a metal glass with no monetary value.
But to Della and David, the red metal tumbler was as valuable as a ruby, with the others in bright blue, gold, or green–just scratched-up aluminum.
Thoughts, time, and effort go funnel into each day of 24-hour choices. That’s a choice for everyone. As we grow older and perhaps part of the work force, what grabs our attention, affects our “wanter,” channels our desires, time and efforts until we get it?
A new car in the garage, a nicer neighborhood, another recreational vehicle, or trip of a lifetime?
The world says that’s good because it’s evidence of goal setting and achieving. Success!
But God evaluates wanting in whole different scale. He addresses it, showing it as jealousy–not being happy with what one has.
The last of the ten commandments spelled out in Exodus 20 is this: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” [Exodus: 20:17]
Jesus adds to attitudes towards money, time, and possessions in his walk on the earth. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matthew 6:19-21]
What he looks for is obedience to God first, even in handling of money. Worldly possessions will be part of our world. But he asks that we keep our attitude in check. He meets our needs, he takes care of us. He knows and guides us through the unknown and the ups and downs of life.
When we get to heaven, who knows how many shiny red glasses will be there for us?
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]