While surfing the internet you see many opportunities for success, financial freedom and golden opportunities to retire young. Yet, when push comes to shove in the financial world, only a few will be the ones to be dubbed successful, as the world deems successful. We've all heard the old adage, "the one who dies with the most toys wins." Personally, I always thought that quite pitiful, but there is a mindset out there that is true to the "most toys" religion sort of life.
This morning upon awakening I thought of my kids, the kids I know, and the people I am in contact with every day. These are the real treasures in my life. I have a pretty yellow sign in the high traffic area of the house (aka: restroom) that reads: Live, Laugh, Love: the most important things in life is NOT things.
I think most of us realize the daunting task of raising kids and are keenly aware that if a kid is "raised" instead of reared, their life will probably reflect that upbringing. Though by the grace of God, anything is possible and bad childhoods can indeed result in great lives. Yet, the responsibility is there. I heard an elderly woman once teach us to pray that our children will hunger and thirst after righteousness. Of course, all righteousness is of him, so I've tweeked my prayer a bit to ask, "may they hunger and thirst after you and your righteousness, lord."
Beth Moore states, "If your eyes could only see how God is moving all those chess pieces around the board for maximum impact, it would blow your mind. He's up to something big that affects not only you, but those around you. He's also after those around you. Furthermore, he's not just interested in impacting the present, he is the one "Who is, and who was, and who is to come, the almighty." (Revelation1:8) Within every "is," God is mindful of what "was" and what "is to come" and he intends to show himself mighty in all of the above. One thing is certain: You can't accuse God of being shortsighted.
God places a tremendous premium on lineage (family) in his word, and also on the influence one generation has on the next.
What an investment for the future of the world we are making when we are kind and loving to a child or young person. Modeling the love of Christ and making every single person we come into contact with feel special is a gift. We can do that by looking them in the eye when they speak, smiling at them, showing interest in their lives, and with touch when appropriate. This is priceless. Forgetting ourselves and reaching out to train, disciple, teach and mentor is the investment that will bring eternal rewards. The ole' "you can't take it with you" is so true and so is the "I've never seen a hearse with a U-haul behind it." Material possessions and wealth are fine and good if used for the ultimate goal of loving people.
We have seen the interest rates on various retirement accounts, savings accounts, stocks, bonds and such go up and down feverishly in recent years. But I will tell you what investment is foil proof, definite, specific and "a sure thing": Invest your life in the life of a child, a young person, and the others around you. In that investment, you lay up treasure in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy, nor do thieves break through and steal. Lay up treasure in heaven by purposefully, planning to love a child, an elderly person, or those who are our peers. And it doesn't have to be just your family. Invest your life in the lives of others and reap the rewards of joy in your heart, a bounce in your step, and a bank account in heaven that is brimming over with treasure: the true investment for the future.
Kimberly Short Wolfe, MA, is the grief counselor and bereavement coordinator for Mountain Hospice and is also a homeschool Mom. firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-823-3922, ext. 136