Yesterday I was inside all day with my boys. Well, not if you count poking my hand out of the window to grab a Starbucks. And I was 10 miles beyond stir crazy. So I was determined that today we would actually take a breath of fresh air and go outside.
One thing about my son, Miah, is that he loves to collect things. He is at that age where he is crazy about cups and buckets and
hoarding collecting all of one kind of toy in those containers, then sitting on it like a brooding hen protecting her golden eggs. Even at the expense of one very angry brother who likes to practice his WWE techniques when provoked, and who doesn't understand why Miah must have all the dinosaurs in the entire world.
So I decided to give Miah a bucket, strap the other two in our double stroller, and head out on an adventure. Miah was all kinds of excited when I said we were going on a treasure hunt, and that he got to take a bucket along. I think I heard, "kletsgo!" at least 23 times before we finally headed out the door.
Now, I had this euphoric picture in my mind, of Miah and I heading out on this grand escapade and bonding over finding dead beetles and cool pieces of broken plastic and feathers. But as we headed out, and I started saying, "Now, let's put the treasure we find in our bucket! Miah, do you see any treasure?" I soon realized his idea of treasure, and my idea of treasure were a world apart.
He turned his little pudgy nose up at anything that resembled broken plastic. "Garbage!" he yelled. He turned away from dead bugs with a nasty look on his face. "Those are not treasure. They are dead." he said matterofactly. "Ooooh, Miah! Look what I found! A beautiful flower! This is treasure, right?" He looked at me frustratingly and yelled, "That is not treasure! That is food for bugs!" If you know my son, I bet you can just picture him saying these things.
What he did run to with all his toddler might, were rocks. Just rocks. Black, boring rocks. But they were the coolest rocks in the whole world to this little boy. He got so excited when he saw one laying in the middle of the sidewalk, or in the gutter, or in the road. "A treasure!" he exclaimed every 2 seconds. There are a lot of rocks outside.
When I was a little girl, I collected rocks. I loved the simplistic beauty, the smooth surfaces, the jagged surfaces, the different colors and shapes. My mom would roll her eyes when I brought in a sandwich baggie full of what i'm sure to her seemed like a mound of boring ol' pebbles. But I saw the little things that made each rock special. That one faint red line down the middle. That one speck of gold in that one. How that one was almost shaped like a heart.
And Jeremiah brought me back to that moment in time, where all I had to worry about was where I was going to store those magnificent specimens of nature's magic. As I grew up, my tastes got more complex. I ditched the rocks, and went for horses, dragons, frogs, posters of boy bands. You know, in the 90's when
hoarding collecting a room full of crap stuff of the same kind was cool. *rolls eyes*
Miah was so excited about a bucket full of rocks, and I fed that excitement. "Miah, look at this big one!" His eyes would light up and he would waddle-run to wherever I was kneeling. Then he would haul that rock right into his bucket. I tried a couple times to see if he would let anything else in the bucket. A feather was "too light and the wind will blow it away." A piece of wood was "a piece of wood, Mommy." But a big white flower did make it in. I think he finally felt sorry for me.
What do I value as treasure in my life right now? Dictionary.com defines treasure as the apple of one's eye, or one's darling, or pearl. It got me thinking...am I treasuring the wrong things in life? Have my tastes and values gone beyond the simple treasures in life? What do I really see as my pearl of great worth? Is it a new camera, nicer clothes, a better looking house, a big bank account, lots of friends, a slimmer waist?
None of those are bad in and of themselves, but if we have our hearts set on them, we are going to miss the real treasures of life. And if you really dig deep about why you want all that, you may realize it's just because someone else has it, or you feel pressured to hold a certain status in your group. What I'm learning, is that if you live your life trying to please everyone else's standards, you will end up with a bunch of crap that doesn't really matter and miserable beyond belief. Just because someone else has it, doesn't mean you need it.
Or, is your treasure your child's conversation, a husband's friendship, the excitement of doing something that you love, telling someone about Jesus, or investing in a real friendship?
Miah was content with his rocks, and won't let them out of his sight. I need to reevaluate my treasure, and when my heart is set on the right kind, cling to it with all my heart and a childlike excitement.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21