Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)
Besides being a judge, my husband was an artist who had a sharp eye and collected Oriental rugs. His very favorite was a lush, red Heriz. To ensure its safekeeping, I put it in a guest bedroom where it would get little traffic, and the dogs were not likely to soil it.
One afternoon a friend was in that bedroom, and she called out, “Marthe, there are lots of little white butterflies in here.” I had no idea what that was about but rushed in to see what might be going on. We looked to see where the “little white butterflies” were congregating, and, sure enough, they had found the dark, secret place under the guest bed. Gloria and I quickly pulled the bed out and saw where the swarm of diminutive moths had nibbled their way right down to the rug’s foundation. We vacuumed to see the extent of the damage—it was widespread and much worse than I thought.
As I waited that afternoon for Peter to return from work, I tried to formulate a rationale for neglecting this family heirloom. Would I be subjected to days of silence or, even worse, berated for my stupidity? The wait was long and uncomfortable. I could think of nothing to say.
I briefly greeted Peter at the door and took him upstairs. He took one look at the damage, turned around, and shrugged his shoulders. That was all. “We’ll see if we can repair it,” he commented. I stood in a state of shock as he casually dismissed one of his treasures. His whole attitude was, “It doesn’t have eternal life. It gave us pleasure for awhile. Put the bed back; forget about the damage underneath; and we’ll enjoy what we see.” There was never a word of condemnation.
From that time till this, I’ve tried to model Peter’s attitude about things that break or get spoiled or stolen or ruined. Do they have eternal life? Everything temporal has a shelf-life. Only those blessings given us by God are eternal.
P.S. The rug was irreparable with its extensive damage. Even then, my husband never looked back, preferring to live without judging or regrets.
Father, help me to hold all things loosely knowing that they are only with us for a while. Let my treasure be securely in heaven, invested in eternity. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

Author: mcurry09

Marthe Curry is director of the World Missions Department of her diocese in Texas. In that capacity, she frequently travels internationally to empower individuals and communities in discipleship and development. She loves to teach, write, and garden. Marthe has a Ph.D. from the University of the Incarnate Word. She has two children, grandchildren, two dogs, and lives in San Antonio. She looks forward to your comments and questions.

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