November 25, 2012

What are the things you keep?

Some people collect coins, other stamps.

And then there are those who keep their baseball or NBA cards. We never know. But the question I want ask you is this. What do you keep?

Here’s a touching article written by an unknown author entitled: “Some Things You Keep.” Listen to this carefully.

Some things you keep.  Like good teeth.  Warm coats.  Bald husbands.

They’re good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief.  So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know is often better than a stranger. These are my thoughts.

They make me sound old, old and tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that’s new and improved in their lives. New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars. The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I don’t think I want to.

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents -a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it – and still does.

A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. They weren’t poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom in a housedress, lawn mower in one’s hand, dishtowel in the other’s. It was a time for fixing things – a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.

Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that refixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there’d always be more. But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any ‘more.’  Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.

So, while you have it, it’s best to love it and care for it and fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick. That’s true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because they’re worth it; because you’re worth it.

Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there are just some things that make life important…. people you know are special…. and you KEEP them close!

End of article.

And so, back to the question. What are the things you keep?

Money in a bank?

That magnificent piece of diamond you bought from Tiffany’s?

Not necessarily bad but not very important either.

They’re just expensive but they’re not important.

What I would like to keep is friendship with people.

I’d like to keep those precious moments our small group share once a week when we would just take time out, sit in one of those coffee shops, discuss important issues in life, share God’s Word and have a good time.

I’d like to keep those precious memories of my kids growing up, those days I started courting my high school sweetheart who would one day turn out to be the mother of my kids.

I’d like to keep the company of those wonderful church folks I mingle with.

These are the things I like to keep but most importantly, I would really love to keep my love for God growing stronger and stronger every day.

I would like to keep my pledge of faithfulness to my wife and keep my promise to my kids that they do not have to be afraid that one day their dad will no longer go home.

Let me tell you a story.

Joey’s teacher sent a note home to his Mother saying, “Joey seems to be a very bright boy, but spends too much of his time thinking about girls.” The Mother wrote back the next day, “If you find a solution, please advise.  I have the same problem with his Father.”

That’s the one thing I don’t want to keep.




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