Last week my car was broken into.
Glove compartment pillaged, papers strewn everywhere, yet only my COVID mask was taken.
Surprisingly, my bag of favorite CD's was still on the front seat where I'd left it.
One man's treasure is another man's trash.
Happily for me, my CD's were perceived as trash.
So many of our 'things' are temporal in value.
Electronics, cars, clothing, shoes, furniture, musical styles; their popularity rises to a zenith and then fades.
And it's not just our things.
Like my CDs, my ambitions, beliefs and opinions may one day be passed over as less relevant than a used COVID mask.
Even by me!
Internally and externally, what I store up for myself as treasure will likely not tempt a thief to break in and steal once the winds of time pass through.
This leads me to question the value I place on my possessions and perspectives. They are what I make them.
Shaped by voices within and without.
By my habits and rituals.
By who and what I give my heart to.
There are places, such as my car, for the temporal things and thoughts that change with the fickleness of time.
There are also places in my heart that are informed by absence. That which I treasure is not qualified until they're not present – giving credence to the songwriter's prescient words: "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone."
Loved ones. Longing. Hope. Intimacy. Faith.
None of these can be possessed or acquired.
They can't be stolen. They are the realm of the spirit.
That which calls me toward life lived abundantly.
On this seat I place the permanent things.