You Can’t Take it With You

The story is told, upon the death of one of the richest American’s of the twentieth century, when asked how much money he left behind, his attorney was  said to have replied,  “All of it.”

You can’t take it with you.

It’s funny how attached we become to stuff.   I remember being at an estate auction and looking around at all of the remaining belongings, and thinking is this it? What I have worked and slaved for, fussed over and hung on to ends up going to the highest bidder?   

When Jay told me he was going to out live me I replied, “Good, because I don’t want to clean out your shop!”   A couple years back I adapted the philosophy that if a new item came home with me, I had to let go of something old. Otherwise you might end up watching me a few years from now on one of those hoarder shows.  

 Some items like outdated clothing or unused appliances don’t hold as much sway over me; others are less easy to let go of. Like photos, why did I take so many photos?  I have lots of photo albums and boxes of photos.   Most hold sentimental value only to me. Which ones do I keep and which ones do I dispose of or give away?  When my mother in law moved off the farm my husband brought home a box full of photo albums.  They were fun to look through, but now what?  Lately so much of what I own has begun to feel, well burdensome to be honest, and it all requires so much time and attention and I can’t take it with me.

 Letting go is hard. I remember when Mom was preparing to move to her apartment and as we sorted through each item there was a memory attached to it.   The meat grinder was from Aunt Mildred, the alarm clock that was my dads and it is the same for me.  It is the memory that I am attached to mostly.  Even that gets left behind at the end of it all.

 Some of the stuff that I have a hard time letting go of isn’t in material form.   Take for instance my need to be right.  That fatal flaw has been a part of my personality for too long.  Or how about gossiping, I would love to tell you that I don’t but that would just be a big fat lie. One walks a fine line between sharing news and sharing news, really.      

 We become attached to things, even when they don’t serve us well and can chain us to being less than who God created us to be.  It’s not a bad thing to have nice things or certain habits, but we can’t take money, behaviors or things with us.   Honestly, I realized not so very long ago that both money, things and even certain behaviors had become my God, particularly money because I believed for most of my life that if I had enough it would save me. I thought it would save me from things like: fear, want, lack, loneliness, even from being unloved.   But money and the stuff it buys didn’t fill any of those holes in my soul and at the end of the day it became the enemy that often brought: fear, envy and discontent to my soul and even sometimes my relationships.  

The rich man’s attorney is right, it all gets left behind. 

 Jesus warned us not to put our faith and hope in the things moths and rust can destroy. But to build up our treasure in heaven and what I can take with me from this land of shadows to the reality of heaven, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and most importantly other souls that I have been bold enough to influence for Jesus Christ.   The truth is love is the only thing that lasts.  How much we love God and love others in this life, especially those who don’t deserve love, is what we take with us and the more we love here on earth, the bigger our account in heaven becomes. Everything material is bound for decay; the real stuff is the unseen, the invisible. The stuff of the soul.

 Love big my friends, that is of God and because that you can take with you.

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis