It's really not about you. It's not.

It's about God.

Whether anyone might describe you as religious, or pious, or even good, none of these has meaning apart from the maker of all that is good and right. We are dependent on the one who made us to make us better.

But we can give in to the process; we can be willing to become more what God has in mind. Such a moment as this—now—provides one such opportunity for the change to continue.

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"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."

Matthew 6:19–21

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I do actually, I confess, store up treasures on earth—joyfully, intentionally, even greedily: the out-of-control laughter of children, an excited puppy's tail wagging its whole body. Not so much raindrops on roses, though I would include crisp apple strudel (especially with a warm vanilla sauce!), the taste of good food in the company of good friends, books and music in which to lose yourself or to find yourself, the joy of ongoing conversation, moments of grace and wonder. I would include the joy of knowing gratitude and hope, the smells of yeast rolls rising, soup simmering, and the outdoors after rain, the touch of someone who loves you, sunrise and sunset at the beach, and over the mountains, and down the street. The community in fellowship and worship. To name a few.

Treasures on earth, but never threatened by moth, rust, or thieves—treasures that open my heart to make of earth, heaven.

John Ballenger

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God, may I know treasure worth knowing and always protect my heart in worthwhile ways. Amen.

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There before you lies all the world,
Given as a gift.

Go into the world as a work in progress,
Someone who is not yet who you will be,
But someone who is on the way.

The world will be better and blessed
Because you are in it,
Growing, becoming, gleaming with
The light reflected from above.

John Ballenger

John Ballenger is pastor of Woodbrook Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Worrying at Scripture and wondering about life constitute one of the great joys in his life. His wife, daughters, dog, cats, congregation, and friends (all also great joys—most of the time) keep him worrying and wondering!

Reflections on the Way: I Surrender All

Ken Medema -

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