Monday, March 02, 2015

Valued, Trusted Treasure (by Peter A. Black)

Incredulous! The couple couldn’t believe their ears. A large auctioneering company was not interested in their treasures. Now in their seventies and with their children fledged from the family nest, it’s time to downsize. And so they’ve decided to build a smaller place, a home offering continued independence, yet suited to their needs and stage in life.

The new house is nearing completion, so Tony and Sophia* will soon move into their tasteful, more manageable surroundings. Recently they decided between the furnishings they’ll take into the new home – items it will suitably accommodate – and those they will let go. Sophie has a good eye for furnishing and ambience, while Tony, a retired business professional, understands investment and has a keen business mind. Both appreciate quality, heritage and antiquity. They had accumulated quality furniture and beautiful decorative collectibles over the years.

Surprise, surprise! The auctioneer informed them that the current generation wouldn’t buy their well-crafted solid wood furniture; wouldn’t be interested in the gorgeous, mellowed antique sideboard nor the antique Singer treadle sewing machine, not even Sophia’s prized Royal Doulton collection. He gave the same verdict regarding a number of antiques that formerly were expected to increase in desirability over time.

These days, the auctioneer said, young folk want furniture that appeals to them in the now, and then when they tire of it, junk it and completely refurnish their house with brand new. In fact, he was only interested in taking several small items that he thought would sell.

Good ol' stuff (but not Tony & Sophia's)
Disposable. Throw-away. Temporality. Transitory. These qualities rule nowadays. Whether right or wrong, my guess is that the couple (good acquaintances of mine) can well afford to move into their new home and furnish it to suit, anyway, with or without their receiving a good return on their quality ‘stuff.’ I do feel for them, however, in regard to their being rudely awakened to the news that the value they’d placed on their previously cherished acquisitions had seemingly evaporated into the ethereal valuation of a new generation.

Despite the many failings found among Christians and the faith community, there are treasured aspects to value. Have you cast Jesus Christ and His Gospel aside, dismissing the Bible as an old book "full of contradictions"? You find no attraction to attending church, sitting on wooden pews, staring into the back of people’s heads, singing outmoded music, and listening to a ‘talking head’ up front? I sympathize. Why would it be attractive?

But there’s enduring value in taking time out to enter a sacred space and to join others in opening up our beings to God as Heavenly Father, with grateful, appreciative hearts; to lift up our voices together in songs of praise – whether accompanied by organ or piano, or by guitar and keyboard. Instruments and musical styles may differ, but the substance of true worship pertains to the condition of the heart opening its treasures of love in gratitude to God.

I treasure the Christian period of Lent, culminating in the commemoration of Good Friday and the death of Christ on the cross for our redemption, and for the celebration of His resurrection at Easter. I don’t ever want to devalue them nor let them be cast into the abyss of unbelief and a cast-off faith. I’m mindful of this verse (Hebrews 10:35 NIV2011): ". . . do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded."

Our faith – valued, trusted and treasured.


*Pseudonyms to protect privacy.
The above post was adapted from Peter's weekly column, P-Pep! published in The Guide-Advocate, February 26, 2015.

Peter's second book is a compilation of inspirational articles from his weekly column—on a variety of themes. These are interspersed with brief expressions intended to encourage.  Ebook edition is now available on Amazon.
ISBN: 978-0-9920074-2-3 (Angel Hope Publishing)


David Kitz said...

Jesus and the gospel message are the pearl of great price that is undervalued and overlooked by many, but it is worth all that we have or ever will have.

Janis Cox said...

Love this Peter. We still value the wooden furniture, most of which my hubby has made. Nothing will ever match the quality of real wood. We have found that cheaper furniture breaks and yes it is throw away.

I love your analogy. And yes are people throwing away the lessons they learned as children? Are they turning away from the truth in scripture?

Susan Harris said...

Beautiful analogy about the never ending worth of who we are both in Christ and to Him.

Peter Black said...

Thanks David and Susan. Your 'True and Lasting Treasure' perspectives warm my heart right up!~~+~~

fudge4ever said...

A good reminder in a transient society. God never changes and yet is as new as His mercies every morning!
Good thoughts!
Pam Mytroen

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Really like your comparison with good furniture. It's astonishing when you think about it that people would rather have put-together pretend stick furniture instead of real wood.

Peter Black said...

New mercies . . . So true, Pam.
And Rose, you are so right. I remember years ago saying (tongue in cheek): "Those flowers look so real, they must be artificial!" (I knew they were real, of course.)
Onyhoo, I was hoping to see the couple today at a community Lenten service, to tell them how their story inspired me, but I missed seeing them. Maybe later. Blessings to y'all.~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Another great mini-sermon, Peter. Although we have quite a combination of furniture, read wood and not, I still like the texture and shine of the real thing. It has character, just as the story and lessons offer.

Glynis said...

Amanda bought Grandpa a sign a very long time ago. It read - Grandpa's are just antique little boys. I loved that because to her young heart - her grandpa was (is) priceless. It is sort of sad that solid, well made, lovingly created treasured items don't hold the same worth today as the 'disposables' as you say. In one way, maybe it's not so hard to let go, then. But when you liken this to the faith community it sets me to praying. There are some things we need to value no matter what; the Word of God. The grace of the Lord. the joy of Jesus; the message of the cross; the glory of the resurrection. Now those are our true treasures. Thanks, Peter, for so eloquently putting this all into perspective.

Donna Mann said...

You have given us an excellent assessment of what we might think is or has been valuable to us. I saw hints of this when we downsized. Either find a place in the new location or at the curb. We enjoyed the latter as we watched people open their trunk and fill it.

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