Things. We really have become a culture of obtaining things. Looking around my home as I write this message I try to evaluate the worth of the things I have collected in my home. Which ones are more important than the others? Is there a hierarchy to their worth? Which ones are my favorites? What could be sold on eBay? There are some things I wish I didn’t have. How did they get here and why do I still keep them? My home is filled with a lot of things, yet I seem to always want more. The television tells me I need this new thing because it’s faster than my old one, or this other thing will somehow make my life easier. My newspaper is filled with pictures of things that it says “I must have”. The mail is delivered to me with advertisements for more and more deals on things. Oh, so many things!
The fires raging out in California have forced the evacuation of many families. My thoughts and prayers go to those displaced people. As the reporters interview them we see the sadness for the homes they lost. They do not cry beacuse of the things they lost, but rather for the loss of their security, memories, and a brush with danger. They will be able to replace many of the things they lost, but photo albums, and family heirlooms are irreplaceable. This sudden tragedy in their lives does force a new look on how we prioritize our life. When we slow down, whether by choice or force, we know life is not about the things, but our interactions with people.
If, God forbid, a burglar would ever enter my home, he may be interested in my computer, televisions, and other electronic equipment that might fetch him some cash, but he would be miss one of my family’s greatest things, our dining table.
Our dining table is not expensive or fancy in any extravagant way. It is not a family heirloom or a handcrafted wonder from remote area of the country. It is a simple dining room table, but it is our greatest thing. It could be replaced with another and we might not even notice because the value is not in the table itself but what takes place at it.
Our family gathers around that table for meals, meetings, prayer, and even some labored homework sessions. My wife makes it a point for each of our daughters to share during dinner a significant part of their day, a current goal they are seeking, and news of their friends. It is where we plan out our vacations, solve our problems, rejoice in our accomplishments, and comfort one another in sad times. I hope you have a table like this and use it with your family. I fear so many simply do not.
Our precious table, like all of the things in our lives, should be seen as what they truly are, a replaceable tool to nurture some incredible interactions with those we love. If we are not using our things for that purpose, then perhaps our things are using us.
May your homes be filled with much happiness and love.
Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker. His presentations have entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and numerous other venues where people come together to be entertained and improve their lives. Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.