Jesus said, “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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-20).
When I was a boy my greatest treasure was in the bag of marbles I was carrying, or in the rubber guns I had made. We formed model airplanes and hung them from the ceiling of our room where they were the last things we saw as we gave ourselves to the sandman.
Then came bicycles, and motor carts and finally a 1931 Ford. Mixed in with these was a beautiful woman named Ann, and from there six kids (three natural born sons and three adopted daughters). Now we count the treasures in “grands and great grands”, They make us happy two ways — glad to see them come and glad to see them go. When the last of the six married, we cried two days. Why couldn’t he have married two years ago! So where is the bank account that was so all important in the years go by?
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised man who was fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he was legally blind MOVED TO A NURSING HOME TODAY.
His wife of seventy years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours watching patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, a visual description of the tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window was revealed.
“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eighty year old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mr., Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it”, he replied. Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not does not depend on how the furniture is arranged – it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice. I can spend that day in bed recounting the difficulties I have with the parts of my body that no longer work. Or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
It is true that I am blind, but I have a heart full of memories. I see many things that when I could see I did not. I have a special song I sing each morning, written by a man named Hamblen, that goes like this, and he began to sing, “There is no night for in his light, you never walk alone, always feel at home, wherever you may roam. There is no pow’r can conquer you, while God is on your side, just take Him at His promise, don’t run away and hide . . . IT IS NO SECRET WHAT GOD CAN DO, WHAT HE’S DONE FOR OTHERS, HE’LL DO FOR YOU. WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN, HE’LL PARDON YOU; IT IS NO SECRET WHAT GOD CAN DO.”
He continued musing, “Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and on all the happy memories I’ve stored away – just for this time in my life. You see old age is like a BANK ACCOUNT. You withdraw from what you put in”. So my advice to everyone would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. I know the day will come when I can no longer sing, “Some glad morning, when this life is over, I’ll fly away; To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.”
As he began singing the chorus, the lady directing him to his room began singing with him, “I’ll fly away, O glory, I’ll fly away (in the morning). . . When I die hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away”.
Ann and I were visiting Branson one weekend, and the first morning we attended a show called “THE BRUMLEY SINGERS”. Here were the sons and daughter of ALBERT E. BRUNLEY who wrote that song in 1932.
In their happy faces and voices they showed five simple principles that their father had lived. Free your heart from hatred. . . Empty your mind of fret and worry. Live simply and store up treasures in heaven. Give readily to those who pass by, you may not see them again. Expect less from others and more from yourselves.
Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. . . See how the lilies in the field grow. They do not labor or spin . . . even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these . . . But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be given you as well . . . do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day had enough trouble on its own” (Matthew 6:25-34).