"Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal." Matthew 6:19 (AMP)
Since I first saw the movie, One True Thing (1998), starring Meryl Streep, William Hunt and Renee Zellwger, I've adopted George's (William Hunt) mantra , "less is more." His wife, Kate (Meryl Streep) disagreed and so did my husband, arguing "more is more," until recently.
We knew there was a lot of stuff scattered throughout his dad's basement workshop and stuffed inside his back yard shed. The harsh winter of 2010 collapsed his garage and exposed his treasured heaps. We blamed the storms for the destruction and clean up, but there were no excuses for touching anything else. So, we didn't until he passed.
This weekend, between the basement and shed, we hauled off four truck loads of Dad's treasures to the dump discovering a handful of valuable or nostalgic pieces that caused us to pause. But mostly, we scratched our heads wondering what possessed him to accumulate so much stuff. Maybe it was the result of growing up lacking and never wanting to feel that emptiness again.
It wasn't the first time I've filtered through another person's earthly possessions and witnessed the liquidation of their lifetime savings. In both cases the truth about Jesus' words in Matthew 6:19-20 rang clear:
"Do not store up treasures on earth...but, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and vermin do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal."
Less is more when we invest our wealth of time, energy, talents and money into those things that last - God's kingdom and our family. The less material treasures, the more room we make to invest in eternal things. The less we accumulate, the more time we gain to invest in people, or as Ellen (Renee Zellweger) said in One True Thing, "The ones who love you; that's what counts."
Exhausted at the end of our second day, we gathered hand-in-hand around the dinner table as Mom said grace. We laughed, shared stories, gave thanks, and enjoyed our loved ones' company. That's what counts.
If someone were to sift through your possessions, what would they say mattered most to you? Is it time to start simplifying to make room for what matters most - God and family - the ones who love you?