“But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless-like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” Ecclesiastes 2:11 NLT
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
My morning walks take me through a subdivision we once lived in. The president of the homeowner’s association is given a yearly stipend to purchase flowers and other related gardening items for her yard. When she does, she takes her old stuff and places it by the road for the city collectors to collect.
One morning, I noticed she had done her annual renovation. As normal, she left some good things beside the road-two large flower pots with floral designs. A little fading from the sun didn’t bother me. I scooped them up and transported them to my house. My wife would love them, especially after we filled them with flowers.
When I was a middle-schooler and a teenager, I wanted what my peers had. Brand names for clothing and shoes were important. I was no different than any young person who cares and wants what his peers have. As I’ve gotten older, I no longer care. I’ll be glad to take someone else’s trash and make it my treasure. And doing so certainly saves money.
King Solomon had the money to buy anything he wanted-and did. When he finished searching for happiness in things and dead-end relationships, he classified his pursuits-and what he was still pursuing-as meaningless. His efforts parroted chasing the wind.
Had I learned Solomon’s lessons as a young man, I could have saved myself a lot of debt, time, and aggravation. I’d also have more money in the bank. But those pursuits are water under the bridge. Now I live out his conclusions and try to make better decisions.
While there is nothing wrong with enjoying material possessions-as long as they don’t put me in debt, aren’t sinful, and don’t become my sole aim in life-they are not where true happiness and contentment lie. I don’t have to have the best to be happy. Happiness is found when I realize Christ dwells in me and when I allow Him to be my sole source of contentment. Everything-and everyone-else will eventually disappoint.
Security and self-worth are not found in or based on stuff we might possess. They are enjoyed when we realize whom we belong to. New pots may look appealing, but old ones will serve the same purpose.
Find your worth and enjoyment in Christ, not stuff.
Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA