Last week I vacationed with my family on the beaches of Padre Island, TX. Thanks to MTV, most people think of spring break and crowded beaches when they hear about Padre, but my family has gone to the same national seashore campground for over 20 years (usually every other year). This campground has no frills-there's only electricity and running water in the bathrooms. We stay in a pop-up camper just off the beach, with the ocean in view. We love it.
While at the beach, we enjoy walking up and down the shoreline, talking and looking for sea shells, sand dollars, and other stuff that's washed ashore. This trip was a little different because of hurricane Ike. There was minimal damage in the area we stayed, most of it had been easily fixed before we arrived (about a week after the storm hit), but there was an incredible amount of debris on the beach.
We usually expect to see jellyfish, seaweed, small shells...the usual. This time, there were countless trash cans, DVD cases (some still had the movies in them!), water and coke bottles/cans, furniture, toys....the list could go on forever. On other trips to the beach, when we've gone "beach combing" (looking for stuff) we get excited about a large or pretty shell, a sand dollar that's still at least 50% intact, or cool pieces of driftwood... But this time, our eyes were drawn to the junk...We spent hours in the first few days examining and sometimes picking up and keeping stuff that had washed ashore...it wasn't until the third day that we really started looking for shells and other natural stuff.
Sometimes we do that in life too. We seek after "stuff." We run around trying to compile the most stuff and seem to never be satisfied. All the while, we're missing what God has in store for us. We fail to notice the beauty in this world, we can't see all the wonderful things God desires for us because we're looking at all the junk in life...things that we think will bring us happiness, and get more and more disappointed when the new and shiny objects fade.
What treasures are you seeking? How much of your time do you spend chasing after stuff- material possessions of this world? Would it be easier to understand what God's purpose is for us if we would shift our focus from the "treasures of this world" and looked for ways to invest in people rather than things? Start looking for ways to serve, instead of compiling. For it is service that we will be truly rewarded with treasures that are bigger than we could ever imagine.
"[Moses]...chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." Hebrews 11:25-26