"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:19-21)
Several years ago I was driving to my daughter’s college to bring
her home for the Summer break. It was a long trip so I stopped at a
little gas station halfway there to refuel. I pulled up to the pumps
behind a beat up old car. It was at least 20 years old. The metal was
rusting, the tires were balding, and the muffler was held up by a coat
hanger. A young teenage girl sat in the front passenger seat and two
much younger girls were in the back.
After filling my gas
tank I walked in to pay. The mother of the girls was at the counter
desperately digging through her purse. She had bought some small snacks
for her children but still needed five more dollars to pay for them. She
sighed and started to pick up the snacks to put them back. “I got it,” I
said and tossed the money on the counter.
The Mom turned and
looked at me with moist eyes. Then suddenly she stepped forward and
hugged me. I felt a burst of warmth in my heart that I am sure traveled
to my cheeks as well.
The Mom let me go
and said, “Thank you.” She smiled, grabbed the snacks and hurried out to
her children. I stood there watching them leave and said a prayer for
them. Then I walked out into the sunshine feeling lighter than the air
Looking back on that memory reminded me too
of the passage in the Bible where Jesus asks the reluctant, rich man to
give his wealth to the poor so that he would have “Treasure in Heaven”.
I felt so sad for that rich man. He had given up so much in order to
keep so little. The treasures of Heaven are beyond anything this world
can give us. I know this because we carry some of these treasures within
us. The love we share, the good we do, and the kindness we give to
others are all treasures of Heaven. They bring us so much joy. They give
us so much peace.
They light our paths
here on Earth and lead us back to Our Father in Heaven.