“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or – worse! – stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matthew 6:19-21, Message)
Who likes moths? I sure don’t, especially since the last encounter that occurred between my oldest son and a moth in the middle of the night (See A Grizzly Bear in our Tent). These things sure can keep you awake!
Any treasure under the spell of moths, or for that matter, rust (Another topic we could scrutinize to the core and leave wanting!) becomes completely worthless. And that’s what earthly treasures are worth compared to the grace and love of our Heavenly Dad.
Imagine your home on fire. Your children and spouse are in danger of suffocation, as well as your bundles of thousands of dollars that you have left hidden behind a wall. You have time to save one or the other, but not both, for fires do indeed spread quite rapidly! Who or what would you save? Would it be the money? Unless your spouse and children are totally abominable, money would never be your first choice. Why focus on such treasures when family and friends are way more important?
Back to the topic of moths. These can be quite annoying. Their appetite can be quite ferocious . . . “Who made that hole in my curtain?” Just try to capture one in a small plastic bottle! Only one I know can be successful with such endeavor: my eldest just caught another one in a bottle. Such talent!
Still moths are nothing compared to Scottish midges. These insects are so tiny, they are hard to perceive; but then, they are never alone. They always bring a bunch of their friends for a fiesta at your expense. Even though so tiny, you can feel their bites, as they are after your blood. Why are all insects who are truly interested in us humans nothing more than blood-thirsty vampires?
The midges, though, have got to be the worst. As they are so tiny, they can reach you through any small opening in your hat, and suck your head dry, literally! I had my encounter with them, and believe me, unless you start running, you are truly toast. But then, in Scotland it seems it always rains, so watch out for the slippery path!
Truly we could compare earthly riches with being infected by midges. No one, and I mean no one would ever be interested in approaching such vicious luxury. “No way! Are you crazy!” Who would ever like to be eaten alive by invisible vampires? I sure wouldn’t. Our worldly treasures are no better. They eat us from the inside out, until we’re are completely absorbed by them (In other words, our focus becomes completely skewed!)
Good news according to an Edinbourger, who sat next to me on a bus. There is a way to supposedly avoid the attention of midges. Don’t wash your hair (My son would sure like that!), don’t use perfume (No problem for us men) and don’t use any soap, as they delight in such odors. I am sure not a midge! Anyone I meet that smells like a perfume bottle, I either faint or hold my breath. Quite hard to talk in this manner! Also there are hand wipes that are being sold at certain stores to help with the midge problem. Do they work? Who knows! Supposedly these last only for half an hour. Not much of a protection!
We may find possible solutions to our thirst for richness, keeping them safe and incorruptible, but still they will eat us from the inside out, guaranteed. By the way, richness are anything that preoccupy our time. This can mean work, alcohol, money, reading . . . All of these will leave us wanting, yearning for more and more.
As Kingdom subjects we shouldn’t have to worry about moths and midges, and even less, about objects controlling all of our attention. There are more important issues than these. After all, is this truly real living to be preoccupied by non-living objects? To continually be worrying about their safety? Remember the house on fire? What or who is truly more important to us?
Nothing is more important than the love of our Heavenly Dad.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35, NIV)
Our obsessions can hinder us from realizing how much God truly loves us!
Still, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV)
What is more important? Love or our obsessions?
“Oh no, these midges have found me again! Help!”
(To access the entire “Alive” devotional series, please click here.)