Chasing Feathers (Jan – Feb 2009)

By Matt Dabbs

by Heather Helton
January – February, 2009

“Like the rich man of old, we have foolishly minimized the internal of our lives and maximized the external. We wil not find peace in our generation until we learn anew that ‘a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,’ but in those inner treasuries of the spirit which ‘no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.’ [The rich man] failed to keep a line of distinction between the means by which he lived and the ends for which he lived and when he failed to recognize his dependence on others and on God.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m 33 now, and it’s finally become clear to me that my relationship with Jesus matters. Stuff—material things—don’t.

How did it take so long to come to this simple revelation in my life?

I owe it to my sweet family who seem to have known this all along, and I owe it to Marcy.

Marcy was a precious friend who truly put Jesus at the top of her life. Number one. As much as she adored her fabulous husband and two sweet boys, Jesus was her number one. She literally radiated Him from her core.

Everytime I was with her, she talked about Jesus. She lived her faith in Jesus Christ.

I can’t remember her craving a Louis Vuitton handbag, or a big house, or fancy jewelry. Marcy didn’t put much energy into worrying or thinking about earthly possessions. She laid up her treasures in Heaven, and is discovering them there this day.

Marcy had what matters, and she most definitely piqued my interest in a close relationship with a carpenter from Nazareth. And I think, maybe He is not as far away as I’ve always thought. I grew up thinking He was kicking it all day in the clouds, high above my head, light-years beyond the planets. I’m learning that He’s actually right here.

So I sit here with my “things” this morning and realize just maybe I’ve placed my joy for my Uggs boots a little too high on the happiness list. As if God wanted to approve my new way of seeing, my two boxers ripped apart a new North Face ski jacket yesterday morning. Little white puffs of down feathers floated all over my house, and were impossible to mop up, sweep up, or vacuum. And I am reminded that trying to make things sustain a soul, is a lot like trying to capture and contain each and every tiny down feather: impossible.

I lie in a cozy bed this morning, in a warm house, with a hot chai tea, with my Apple laptop and remember many people are not in warm beds. Across the oceans, soldiers are out in the elements at this very moment, on their tired feet, protecting us. Many souls are hungry, many bellies are empty. Many people would give anything to simply have a warm bed. And yet in day-to-day life, I still take it for granted even with this knowledge.

I don’t believe I am unique in having thought things could fill some void inside of me. I think of it as a modern societal epidemic, then I am reminded that centuries ago the theologian Augustine wrestled with the quest for fulfillment in things: “You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all.”

Things. Things will never satisfy in us that longing that Jesus can fill if we make room for Him.New Wineskins

Heather HeltonHeather Holland Helton lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her fantastic husband David and boxers Loretta and Miles. Heather and David are expecting their first child, a son, Feb.19, 2009 via their sister-in-law, Cami, who is carrying him. An independent singer/songwriter, Heather will soon release her CD, The Water is Deep, produced and co-written with Blake Hensley. In all of her writings, Heather aspires to inspire, with truth always at the forefront. You can see her MySpace page at [http://www.myspace.com/heatherhollandmusic]. Email her at [hette123@yahoo.com].

 

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1583 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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