Boxes

I like boxes. They keep your things secure, protected, organized. I must have15-20 of them. Some are very old and have hooks for hinges, a couple are olive wood from Israel. I have a beautiful desk box of Sassafras wood I bought in Tasmania. I have a cedar box of my Mothers that says, “Jesus never fails.” Then there are some elegant cigar boxes. One box holds my collection of small knives, the largest being the hunting knife my Grandmother gave me when I was 13. One holds my cufflinks and tie tacs and bars, including one my 5th grade teacher gave me, as well as the Volkswagen cufflinks my son gave me. Really cool! Others contain my array of pens and watches.

 

A few months ago I found a small box in the shed containing some treasures, including a bracelet with my name engraved on it that my daughter had given me for Christmas when she was a teenager. I thought Joyce had misplaced it before we went to Australia, and although I didn’t say anything I must admit I was annoyed. Are you getting the picture? You have probably figured out that I am sentimental and a bit possessive of my things. I do not think I am alone in this!

And just as those boxed possessions tell, at least to some small degree, a lot about us, I think we can make a mental leap and see our lives as invisible boxes, and realize they hold what is meaningful and valuable to us. Even now my mind goes to the pyramids in Egypt and visiting King Tut’s tomb. Some of his treasure that had been entombed with him for his trip to the netherworld was still there and our guide told of the great wealth and the extensive preparation that went into sending him on his way, including food and servants. I thought then how sad! The archaeologists have found many of these tombs, and what the thieves and grave robbers didn’t get has gone to museums. As brilliant as the ancient Egyptians were at embalming, all that is left in his sarcophagus are the brittle bones of a mummy. They got the immortal part of man right and there will be a resurrection for him someday, but when he died the only thing that went into the afterlife was his soul.

When Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to this earth and took on human form so men and women could know God personally, His disciples recorded for us His life. We know He was tireless in doing good and just as emphatic in His warnings that this life and all that is in it is temporary.

“Lay up for yourselves treasure 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.”
(Mt. 6)

Unfortunately, we have not learned from King Tut. We gather up the wrong kind of “treasure” and fill the boxes of our lives with the kind of treasure that will not stand the test of time. Pehaps we should ask ourselves if we are among the many who are overestimating the temporary and underestimating the eternal?

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