“The things of earth will dim and lose their value, when we recall they’re borrowed for a while.”
It’s coming on Christmas and I suppose it is natural to remember all the Christmases that have gone before. Rachael and Michael have been putting up Christmas decorations. (If they’re lucky, they’ll have the tree decorated by Christmas eve.) I’ve been remembering all of the keepsakes that have been packed away with the decorations- little things the kids made in school, ornaments left from my childhood and those from Rachael’s growing up years, gifts from my children in preschool and day care. They all bring back memories.
Sitting here in the quiet of early, early morning, I went from thinking of those things to remembering the pieces of glassware and dinnerware and furniture and other things that I’ve treasured for so many years because they belonged to my mother and grandmothers. Some of them are packed away still in the basement; some have been taken out and displayed in our house. And I enjoy looking at all of them. They make me remember my grandma and my mom and the stories Dad told of his mother and step mother. They bring back thoughts of Rachael and Notah when they were growing up.
But they aren’t as precious to me as they once were. It isn’t that I don’t treasure the memories, but the objects aren’t as valuable as they once were. I’ve been thinking of the song “Until Then,” especially the messages in some of the lyrics. “The things of earth will dim and lose their value…and things of earth that caused the heart to tremble remembered then will only bring a smile. This weary world with all its toil and trouble will take its toll of misery and strife.’ The soul of man is like a waiting falcon, when it’s released it’s destined for the skies!”
I’ve always liked the song, but the last few years I’ve grasped the deeper reality of the words. The things that I used to hold dear have dropped away. I haven’t thrown them out; they’ve passed into other hands to treasure, but for me I don’t hold them so close. My treasures and the loved ones they helped me to remember have moved from the earthly scene to heaven. I only need to quietly to remember the days of work and heartache, happy times and joy, blessings and burdens. And they are stored now in eternal storerooms. I sit here in Rachael’s house with very few sit possessions of my own. I don’t own a house. I don’t own a car. Most of the things accumulated over the years have been given to other family and friends. I have my cozy room and my favorite pictures on the wall. And my dogs. I have clothes to wear and a warm place to sleep. Rachael makes sure I have the right diet available when she does the grocery shopping. What more can I ask for in life.
The things of earth have lost their value. The trials and heartaches and hard places have all strengthened my faith and drawn me closer to God. I can look back on them and smile because in hind sight I can see the hand of the Lord working in my life.
Now more than ever my focus is on things eternal. And until then my heart does sing.