Where’s My Hammer?

I ask that question quite frequently. If not that exact question, then one of a similar nature.

  • Where’s my Hex wrenches?
  • Where’s my new scraper?
  • Who used my drill last and where did you leave it?
  • Would somebody please tell me where they left or hid the TV remote?

Last night (as I write this on Wednesday morning), it was my favorite blue-handled framing hammer missing from action. Eventually, after looking for something else, I found it in the bottom of a basket full of electric tools (said tools which haven’t been used by me in months). It was like somebody took everything out and laid it in the very bottom before piling it all back in.

Really?

Really!

Have you ever heard of the mischievous sock elves (the ones responsible for the one missing sock of a pair in the basket of freshly laundered clothes)? At my house, we also have the if-it-belongs-to-the-Dad-let’s-use-his-stuff-and-leave-it-in-obscure-places elves.

Whether your experiences are like mine or not (please don’t further depress me by telling me I am alone on this), we all value our stuff. Sometimes it’s because we paid good money for the things we own and the value derives from that. Sometimes the value is found in what the stuff is used for. And sometimes, the value of our stuff is based on sentimental worth. In my closet (which is often not safe from the I-need-a-pair-of-dress-socks-or-a-plain-white-T-shirt elves), there are two footlockers full of my Cole’s treasures. Inside are toy cars, ball caps, stuffed animals, assorted balls, and other things of little monetary worth. But because they were his, they are my treasures now. Others might see junk, but those things are of immeasurable worth to me.

In the great scheme of life, nothing we own of a physical nature has any lasting or eternal value. On the other hand, how we view our stuff does. In the guise of keeping it real, stinginess comes easy for me. But since stingy is never pretty, I must work hard at not holding on so tightly to my stuff. What helps me is seeing my stuff as tools. I can use my tools to serve myself, or I can use my tools to serve God and others. Serving God and others helps me recognize the true source of my stuff.

How about you? Got stuff? Where is your treasure?                           

Don’t 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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19–21 CSB17)

Les, Jr.

 

The Power of Stuff

I like power.
Especially when it rumbles and roars with twin exhausts and just a hint of a low throb while sitting at an idle.

I like power.

I like it, but my wife doesn’t like that I like it like I do.

How’s that for a mouthful?

I drive a Toyota Camry. She’s a pretty thing.
Bright Barcelona Red. She gets me to work and back home again—and doesn’t use nearly as much gas as some vehicles might do.

But I really like power.
And that’s what Becki drives.

A white Dodge Durango SUV family carrying machine…

But dude, it’s got a Hemi.
A big V8 Hemi with Twin exhausts.
When you give that baby the gas, she roars.

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Guess who likes to make her roar?
Guess who doesn’t get to drive her to work everyday?

The correct answer to both questions is yours truly.
I like power, but in this case power does not like my gas budget.

Power.
The power of nature is an awesome thing to behold.
And the power of God? It defeated death and continues to do things beyond our frail human comprehension.

All of us are subject to power in many different forms.
Government.
Family.
Jobs.
Community.

Power is all around us and we gyrate a delicate, intricate dance with all of her different embodiments.

But there is one power in particular that causes us untold heartache.
It’s the power of stuff.
It’s a power that left unchecked will corrupt and destroy.
It causes envy, greed, and materialism.
It consumes those in its grasp.
And at its worst, it damages relationships.

With God.
With church.
With our family.

Jesus’ answer to the power of stuff is really quite simple. It’s also quite possibly the hardest thing He calls us to do.

Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. (Luke 14:31-33)

Giving up everything I have?

Can you imagine what that would be like?

Even though I have given up much in my life–destroyed and taken by the thief–I still cannot imagine what losing everything would be like…

But if required, that is exactly what we are called to do…

If you visit us at the Lake Harbour Drive Church this coming Sunday morning, this is what we will be talking about.

Blessings to you and yours,

Les, Jr.