Friday, February 12, 2010
If it hasn't happened already this is probably the place in my long-illustrious-brilliant blogging career where conflict and hypocrisy take root. So I'll just go ahead and start by saying that my thoughts surrounding this question are inadequate at best. In fact, I'll probably need to go and repent as soon as I finish writing this. The reality is that, especially for anyone who lives in the developed world, this is an unfair question. In the West our occupation is privilege and therefore, by necessity, we hop in the metaphorical ring with selflessness every day in an attempt to grip entitlement as tightly as possible. More on that idea later, but for now let's define the term so we're all talking about the same thing...
TREASURE. Before we talk about where the treasure's at we should probably figure out what the treasure is. Merriam Webster defines treasure as "something of great worth or value stored up or hoarded." My pastor always says "If you want to know what someone treasures look at their checkbook and calendar." Pretty good idea huh? People can talk all they want about what or who they love, the great organizations they believe in, or the faith that compels them towards living, but where you spend your time and money is probably a stronger barometer of what you really care about. The last directive i'll give to the kind of treasure we're talking about comes from the sermon on the mount where Jesus said "for where you treasure is there your heart will be also." In another part of the bible Jesus said this "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever gives his life for me will find it." At the risk of being heretical what if we replaced the word life with treasure? "Whoever wants to save his TREASURE will lose it, but whoever gives his TREASURE for me will find it."
So where is it? Is it in your mortgage...or maybe your marriage? Your children or career? 401k, 403b, roth ira? Maybe it's not that significant...maybe your treasure is locked up in that vacation destination this summer or how you'll perform in the big game. Maybe it's in the plasma tv you'll watch the game on. It could be in the world of academia or in becoming an innovator. Or maybe, just maybe, your treasure could be hiding in those simple, elaborate thoughts about where you're going for lunch tommorrow.
There are some serious nooks and crannies for us to stick our treasure in. As Americans the possibilities seem endless...even for those living below the poverty line in America we are among the wealthiest human beings in history. Everything in our world is elaborate, extravagant, and immediate. But is that reality? I am convinced that we are at a great disadvantage when it comes to understanding the truth, because our worldview is cloudy. The lenses with which we watch the world through are scratched by possessions, wealth, and dispensation.
Ammon Hennessy was a radical social activist who lived a wreckless life for much of the 20th century, but I think his words concerning the American condition might be helpful to us considering the question..."You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial America. You came into the world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of privilege, racial privilege, sexual privilege, economic privilege. You wanna be a pacifist, it's not just giving up guns and knives and clubs and fists and angry words, but giving up the weapons of privilege, and going into the world completely disarmed. TRY THAT." He penned those words over 40 years ago. Before the internet, before social networking, before cable television, before HD. Lauryn Hill wrapped up all of my loose thoughts into 10 concise words..."What people want is fantasy, what people need is reality."
So where's your heart? What rocks are you hiding all that time and cash under? What would the world look like if we all went and found it, then put it where it belongs? Try that. John Piper and his friends over at "Don't waste your life" answered the question in the video below. Check it out. Where's your treasure? What's your answer?