“Your mom and dad told me that you are the proud owner of a new car!” the rancher/pastor commented to a young woman attending services who had grown up in the church. He marveled that she was now a career woman decked out in heels with her first apartment and car.
“Can I see it?”
Carrie hesitated – for good reason. She had worked three years for the car. Carrie didn’t want anyone close to her shiny vehicle, but especially not the pastor.
Just as long-standing as Carrie’s history was the rancher/pastor’s familiar presence on the local highways in his well-rounded muddy pick-up truck. The metal body gave a whole new meaning to the words, “totaled out.” Some parts of it looked like it had been worked over by a thousand-pound steer. It might have been.
Local law enforcement officers saw the pastor more often than family. Besides the clergyman’s generosity and many missions of mercy in the area, the officers knew him as a lead-footed driver.
“I don’t want to park next to you and get the car all scratched up,” she said.
“Fair enough,” he smiled. “Where is it?”
She took him outside and pointed down the road two football fields away to a shiny red car.
“Is it still new?” he asked.
“Yes,” she insisted with a smug look on her face.
You might wonder, what would be the difference between her new car and it being classified as used? Fifteen minutes in the parking lot of the local grocery store. Dents guaranteed.
Some shoppers even speculate the carts are possessed! They claim carts roam around the parking area all by themselves, nosing up to vehicles like a momma cat nursing kittens.
Others believe that collision shops have remote controls on the carts that bring more customers their way than is the norm for any rural area. You can always blame the wind, too. But all result in love bites that give a vehicle the look of a used car.
Ah, a new car! It was nice while it lasted!
Jesus advised, “Do not store up your 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 your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matt. 6:19-21 NIV]
So what treasure is He talking about?
Invest in relationships, beginning with Him. Build your portfolio with selflessness, kindness, family values you model and teach from the Bible. Give anonymously gifts of food, money, or gift cards for someone in need. Try sharing with others the difference God has made in your life. Use your words wisely. Show compassion to others in any way that works. All these investments are priceless.
For example, in our rural area, bicyclists train on the twenty-mile stretch between here and the nearest town. Sometimes they get flats or breakdowns they can’t fix on the road. I have been one of them. It’s a very long walk.
What would Jesus say if your car was slightly scratched from carrying the bicycle and the rider in your car to the nearest town?
“You careless and inconsiderate driver! Don’t you respect my commandments? What about ‘Thou shalt not scratch or damage thy vehicle even unto parking a half mile from thy destination for protection and a cardio workout!’”
Or “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
Which is treasure in Heaven?
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing 2011. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog on www.button-to-god.com.]