Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Are You Dead Yet?
The Good Life
I am blessed on Monday afternoons to have a host of wonderful children and young people pass through the doors of our home. They come to learn how to play the guitar. I have graduated several students in the past and always have a steady supply of new students that are eager to learn how to coax some music out of six strings and a few pounds of wood.
My first two students on Monday are Dacey and Jaden, a brother and sister. They are the children of Tommy and Samantha Sivils. On most Mondays, Dacey and Jaden are accompanied by their two younger brothers, Isaac and Conner, who tag along to enjoy some time on the farm while guitar lessons are going on. When everyone piles out of the car they head to the various “venues” that are available on our six acres. One of their favorite destinations was the chicken coop before a varmint did all our chickens in a few weeks ago. The kids also like to go upstairs and pull the toys out of the attic. Susan keeps a “Hungry Hippos” game and other toys there for such an occasion.
Yesterday, as the Sivils kids were getting ready to leave, Isaac, the eight-year-old, engaged me in conversation. He said, “I really like your house.” I replied with a simple, “Thank you.” Isaac then said, “Do you want to trade your house for our house?” I informed Isaac that we really liked our house too and hoped to spend the rest our lives there. I went on to say that when we went to be with the Lord our children would probably want the house. Not one to give up easily, Isaac said, “What if your children don’t want the house?” I casually quipped, “Well, then, I guess you could have it.” I thought that was the end of the conversation but as Isaac was heading out of the house he said, “Call me when you’re dying so I can have your house.” I am glad he was on his way out the door so he could not see me nearly die from laughter.
Art Linkletter , in his heyday, hosted a show called, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. In all the years I watched Art Linkletter I don’t think I ever heard anything as funny as what Isaac said yesterday. Tommy and Samantha are raising their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) and it is not uncommon for an eight-year-old in that environment to have such a matter-of-fact understanding of death. Tommy and Samantha home-school their children and are doing a wonderful job raising them.
My conversation with Isaac yesterday served to remind me of the brevity of life and the futility of spending our days here focusing on the things which are seen rather than the things which are unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18). Paul informs us that the things that are seen are only temporary but the things that are not seen are eternal. Jesus told a parable about a rich farmer who had a bumper crop. The farmer said to himself, “What shall I do because I have no room to store all my produce?” He answered his own question with words that came from a heart that was preoccupied with the things of this world—“This will I do: I will pull down my barns and build greater; and there I will bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:18-19). God’s answer was, “You fool, tonight you will die. Then who will own all the things that you have collected.” The conclusion that Jesus draws from the parable is that everyone who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God will meet the same fate.
Isaac was my tutor in reminding me of what is important and what is not. As much as we enjoy the home that God has given us, we are not going to take it with us when we leave this world. When the time of our departure is at hand the only thing that will matter is the treasures we have laid up in heaven. Where our treasure is there will our heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21). We begin laying up those treasures only when our citizenship in the Kingdom is established through faith in Christ. - Bro. Marvin Howard
Tommy and I were thrilled that instead of taking offense to such a comment that Bro. Marvin found the humor and the lesson to teach in it. After blushing a nice shade of red for several minutes after reading the article, I too was in the throws of laughter at the thought!