I assume most of us have little treasures or keepsakes that we hold dear. A few years ago, I decided to share my little collection of music boxes with my two teenaged granddaughters. I set the music boxes out on a table and told the girls they each could choose one. I expected that each of them would happily pick one and cherish it forever because, if for no other reason, it was their grandma’s. To my dismay, neither of them really wanted a music box and politely declined. So much for sentimentality!
I figured out that those music boxes were not things that these modern young teens had personal experience with and, while the girls love me, they could not relate to my keepsakes. Maybe those music boxes are for older people.
I remember some discussions around that time in which the implication was that religious practices, too, were more for older people. Perhaps in my granddaughters’ immaturity, they preferred experiences that were more tangibly interactive on their level. With cell phones, computers, and so many sights and sounds at their fingertips, it seemed that taking time to savor or treasure something didn’t have the appeal it had for me who had not had all the hi-tech devices in my youth.
The way I see it, savoring or treasuring something or some experience comes with thoughtful consideration. You cannot push a button or press a key, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Proverbs 3:13-15 tells us:
Happy are those who find wisdom and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold.
In this fast-paced world, it is a challenge to exemplify and promote the treasuring of wisdom. There is so much out there hyping up materialism, rushing to the “finish line.” and competing for the headlines or the votes.
Like a good grandmother, I want my granddaughters to treasure their faith which was given to them at baptism. Like St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians, Chapter 2:2-4,
I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments.
During this pandemic, I am at home a lot more than usual. I have more chances to see the material treasures and souvenirs that I have collected over the years. I also have had more opportunities to consider the spiritual treasures with which I have been blessed over the years. While I pray for my granddaughters—and all my family members, of course—I have to keep in mind the caution in Matthew 6:19-21:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
To friends, families, and friends, pass it on! Treasure the Risen Lord and the Kingdom of Love and wisdom he offers to us! Alleluia!
The scripture passages are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.