Chasing the Son
Here’s a hard truth I’ve come to accept: My kids don’t want my stuff! You know, all the treasures I’ve been collecting over the years. My wife might call it “accumulating.” But these are things I hoped to someday pass on to my kids, items that represent sentiment rather than dollars and cents.
Like my stamp collection that my mom started with me so we could spend time together, which takes up an entire bedroom closet. My scads of Sunday school books and awards. Toys from my childhood. My collection of marigold carnival glass that sparkles to my eye. Or the rare acorn burr pitcher and tumblers that belonged to my grandma. Not to mention all the boxes of family pictures.
I had planned to pass it all on some day. But when I mention it, I hear, “How much do you think it’s worth, Dad? You know if you give it to me I’m just going to sell it.” They don’t want to have to pack it up and move it to whatever city they might land in next…only to stuff it all away in a closet like I’ve been doing for years.
I can understand where my kids are coming from … sort of. The disconnect is that those things represent my memories, my collections, my treasures — not theirs. Maybe I didn’t make those things important enough for them to want to carry on whatever tradition I created in my own mind.
What we treasure is personal to us. If we want others to share in our treasure, then it needs to become personal to them as well. The treasure the Apostle Paul valued most was the Gospel of his Lord and Savior; the death and resurrection of Jesus and the change Christ had made in his life. That’s the story he had to share. He wanted everyone else to have the same personal relationship that he had with Jesus.
In his letter to the Philippians, we get a glimpse of how much Paul let go of to pursue a relationship with the One who saved him: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (3:7-9).
Paul makes his point when he uses the word rubbish to describe his former life. He uses the strongest language possible to describe what he had shed. Every worldly accomplishment, every reward he had achieved was rendered meaningless, filthy rags, when he met Jesus. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17).
Paul was no longer burdened by the material — he let go of everything for the sake of advancing the Gospel. His message is an awakening to the need for all of us to let go of whatever separates us from Jesus. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul” (Matthew 16:25).
Paul found great joy in his new life with Jesus and lived only to serve Him. When we place our trust in the Lord, we find comfort amid all the losses, changes, and transitions we face in our lives. Whatever burdens we bear He walks with us and carries them for us. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
God loves you and He is always watching, always faithful, always calling you unto Himself. He knows your heart. He knows your pain. He knows your loss. He is with you every step. Your suffering and your sacrifices may seem hard to bear in the moment, but Jesus is there to comfort and give you strength. He is the greatest treasure you will ever have. Let go of the old, and embrace the new. Seek Jesus with all your heart.