"Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot."
~Jesus, Luke 12:15, The Message
What would you grab if your house was on fire and you had one minute to get out? Let's assume people and pets have already vacated the premises. What possessions would you most want to rescue from the consuming flames?
Most of us would say sentimental items such as photos and keepsakes. Others would be more concerned with preserving important documents, records, and business transactions. An expensive jewelry collection might top someone's list. Or it could be an item passed down through the generations, an heirloom entrusted to your care to keep safe and to pass along to your own children.
Asking myself this question helps me to put my material possessions into perspective and realize what's important to me. As I look around our home and gaze upon its contents, I see items that aren't just possessions. Many of the things that inhabit our home are pieces of history that date back to our grandparents' lives. I love the fact that I have been able to incorporate so much of our grandparents into our home ~ furniture, paintings, mirrors, dishes, quilts ~ the list goes on and on. But in the event of a fire, I couldn't possibly grab all of it!
What would I scoop up in my rush to escape the inferno? Three things come to my mind ~ our photo albums, my Bible, and my tote bag of journals. The first requires no explanation. The second, some may question. Why my Bible when I could easily replace it? It's true, I could always buy a new one. But I couldn't replace the countless notes, comments, and pieces of my life that mark its pages. My Bible tells the story of my faith walk. The third item on my list is such an integral part of me, the thought of losing it feels on a par with losing a bit of myself. The words I have penned for my blogs and the book I have written are such a huge part of me.
This past Christmas our son, his wife, and our two granddaughters gave me two beautiful journals personalized with my name and my blog on the covers, along with an elegant pen. In their eyes, it was a gift that was both practical and thoughtful. In my eyes, it was so much more. These journals greet me every morning, beckoning me to pour my heart out in hopes that someone will read and be blessed. They are already packed full of my dreams...my regrets...my journey...my heart. They contain bits and pieces of my life story, and they record ways God has spoken to me. What a treasure!
Let's hope our homes are never comsumed by flames. But if they do, let's know what matters most to us.
"So many of us define ourselves by what we have, what we wear, what kind of house we live in, and what kind of car we drive...if you think of yourself as the woman in the Cartier watch and the Hermes scarf, a house fire will destroy not only your possessions but your self." ~Linda Henley