It was baby blue with a white convertible top, and I replaced the front "bench" type seat with two bucket seats from a Mustang. My first car was a 1963 Ford Falcon. I loved that car, and the one that replaced it was certainly a step downward in my eyes. I have owned a couple of other vehicles over the years that I consider fondly; but memory tells me that I treasured that convertible.
I recently had the opportunity to ask a group of children how they would describe a treasure. Collectively, they taught me that a treasure is gold or silver, worth a lot of money, may be found in a chest, and may even be buried in the dirt. The bottom line is that a treasure is something of great value.
Talking about it together, we came to the conclusion that something very valuable to one individual may not hold as much worth for another person. Last week I opened a late Christmas gift from my oldest brother, which was a surprise in that we three brothers typically do not "exchange" gifts at Christmas anymore. He had come across an old photograph of our dad's graduating class from Navy basic training, and had it restored for each of us to own a copy. That gift would not mean much to you, but it is truly something the three of us hold dear.
My convertible was not old enough to be a classic at the time, and not new enough to turn heads, but it was a treasure to me. Is it the memories of fun times in high school that makes it so valuable to me? Could it be the fact that it was my first car, or that it had a convertible top? As you read about it now, you likely are not thinking about how you wish that could have been your car; no, it is more likely that you are remembering your own favorite vehicle from the past. Mine would mean little to you, but yours may have been your treasure.
Of the so-called treasures I might possess today, their true significance is found in what they represent, and not in their market value. Two certain facts about material, earthly treasures are these: first, they will not last forever; second, they cannot be taken beyond the grave. The Bible says that we are to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
When I questioned the group of children about that kind of treasure, they once again impressed me. They understood that kindness, thoughtfulness, love, and good deeds are the kinds of things that will last. My high school trophies and sports letters are packed away in a box, and it has been many years since that container has been opened. However, my mind quickly recalls the coaches and teachers and other leaders who significantly impacted my life with their knowledge, expertise and values.
The trophies are keepsakes; the memories of earning them and the people who helped me along the way are the real treasures. The Word is true: where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The New Year is a great opportunity to reassess our values and prioritize our lives accordingly. I encourage you to take some time to do just that ... happy treasure hunting!
Steven Callis is the minister at First Church of the Nazarene in Douglasville.