Treasured Faith

It was two o’clock in the morning when I was jolted awake by the fire alarm. Like anyone who wakes up in the middle of the night to such a sound, I was immediately set into a panic-driven mentality. What was going on? Was my building on fire? Would I be able to leave the building successfully? Would my stuff be okay?
As I ran from my bedroom to find a pair of shoes, I slung my purse over my arm and made my way to my apartment door. Upon reaching the hall, I sniffed the air. No, there didn’t seem to be any smoke. I didn’t sense anything out of the ordinary except for the fact that the smoke alarm was still shrilling at an annoying decibel.
A few others began to venture into the hallway, looking around with curiosity. No one seemed to know what was going on or if the building was actually on fire. We made our way together toward the main entrance where we encountered the building manager and a few others clustered around the main office. They were in the process of turning off the alarm and getting it reset. But still, no one knew why the alarm had sounded or if there was any danger.
Eventually, we were given the all-clear and sent back to our individual units. But I couldn’t sleep after all of that activity. I crawled into bed and glanced over at my nightstand. In my hurry to leave the apartment, I had left my keys and cell phone right there in the bedroom. If I would have thought further, I would have grabbed at least the cell phone to add to my purse as I evacuated. But I had not thought that far because I was filled with panic and adrenaline.
A few weeks ago, that night came back to me with sudden realization. I was asked if I could identify one thing in my life that was my most treasured possession. I thought on it for awhile, but I couldn’t seem to decide on one specific possession that I valued more than anything else. It crossed my mind that maybe it would be my Bible, but then I realized that I could totally replace my Bible should I need to in any translation I preferred. Then I thought about my electronics— my computer, CCTV, digital piano, cell phone, etc. Sure, such things are expensive and would be difficult to replace monetarily, but the truth is, if need be, they could be replaced too.
A friend who had been asked the same question remarked that he would probably say that photos would probably be his most valued possession. That sounded like a great answer to me, but yet it still didn’t resonate. Since I am visually impaired, I really don’t remember life through pictures. Sure, I take pictures now and then, but if those photos would be lost, I don’t think I would be saddened.
After agonizing over the question for a bit longer, I came to the realization that I simply couldn’t identify my most valuable possession. But if I looked at the concept from a different angle, I could definitely identify some irreplaceable factors in life that I couldn’t imagine living without.
For example, I love my family and friends. I value my independence and accomplishments through career and personal advancement. I can’t imagine being without music in my life, so losing my voice would be tragic to this worship leader. I have already lost my voice once in this life, and God used that time to teach me valuable lessons about my dependence on Him. I learned what it meant to turn my music and ministry over to Him, and I have spent the past few years seeking to honor Him in every aspect of that part of my life.
But I think that I most value comfort and security. I don’t like surprises; I would rather stay in my well-ordered world. My day is drastically impacted when my computer has issues, when my phone doesn’t function properly, when I can’t solve a problem, when I’m stressed by some of the most menial details… I don’t thrive well in the midst of struggle. I mean, no one likes to struggle through anything, but I think I really take issue with this concept. I freak out, stress out, overreact when something doesn’t work right, and it steals my joy.
Recently, I was struck with my level of dependency on the trivial details in life. Do these things really matter? I asked myself that question in the midst of a computer-related frustration. Why couldn’t I see past this trivial stuff-of-earth and instead find my value and treasure in my Best Friend? After all, shouldn’t He be more valuable to me than a computer that can totally be replaced? I was humbled to find my “stuff” more important to me than my relationship with Jesus.
Our Bible Study lesson a few weeks ago brought everything into focus for me. We talked about giving our all for Jesus. We contemplated such people as Paul and Stephen, and how both individuals poured out their lives for Kingdom work. And then we considered a modern-day example of someone who loved Jesus so much she was willing to die for His glory.
Many of you might be familiar with the shootings that took place at Columbine High School in 1999. On April 20 of that year, Rachel Scott was more than likely going about a pretty ordinary day until everything changed. Two students with guns began to target fellow students, and many of those who were injured or killed professed to be Christians. Rachel Scott was a faithful witness to her service to the King that day. When asked if she believed in God, Rachel answered “Yes,” even though she was bleeding from gunshot wounds she had already received and a gun was pointed at her head. She could have denied Christ that day; maybe then she would have lived. But Rachel had only one mission that day and that was to live for Him on a deeper level. On April 20, 1999, Rachel entered eternal life and a forever-abiding relationship with her Savior. She had chosen what was more valuable, and though it cost her everything, she laid it all on the line to please the King.
Considering Rachel’s reality brought me to a humbling place. The next time I get frustrated at the computer or face some other stressful circumstance, I will remember what truly matters. What am I willing to set aside that I might truly serve Him? All of that “stuff” doesn’t amount to the eternal value I find in my Savior. He is everything to me, and everything else fades into the background… no more excuses, nothing else standing in the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s