Andy Hollifield 4-3-18
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Well, I guess the blessings of this past weekend have got me in a sappy mood for lack of a better term. I just began to think about the things that really matter. I spent some time last night looking at the 1983 Erwin reunion facebook page. I came across a post that that showed around 13 of my classmates that I either graduated or would have graduated with, that were now deceased. Our class has had at least 3 more since that post and maybe more than that. I am approaching 53 years old and while that may not be that old, it is still getting to the age where those trips to the funeral home seem to be becoming more frequent. At least two of those that had passed, I was in elementary school with at Woodfin since 3rd grade and 1 I had played baseball with at 8 years old and another I had been in band with since 7th grade. While this may sound depressing, there is nothing like realizing what you have lost to make you realize what is important; our true “Treasures Of The Heart.”
As I looked at those pictures last night, I couldn’t help but get that old familiar lump in my throat and my vision got a little cloudy when I thought of how young many of them were. It takes stuff like that occasionally to help you stop and appreciate what you have not lost. I guess I just kind of said that a minute ago. The other thing I got from those pictures was that there were a lot of good times spent with those folks during some of the best days of our lives. I started thing about how the bible speaks of laying up your treasures in heaven. I began to look at my life and see where my priorities are. I remember as a young man from probably middle school on, when I would be getting in trouble for something, dad would always say, “You need to get your priorities in order.” At that time it seemed like a way of saying that I couldn’t have any fun. I realize now that I am older, that he was just wanting me to realize that the things that are truly most important aren’t things at all but rather people. It took a while but I finally got it. In my opinion, it isn’t what you can accumulate in life that is the standard of a good life, but what you can give away. I am convinced that if we spent our life focused on how we could give to others, we would be far more satisfied ourselves.
Years ago, probably in 1998, I wrote a song called “Childhood Memories.” I wrote that song for my aunt who always took us to town to see Disney’s latest, most of which were new releases, at the Plaza Theater on Pack Square. There were several things that kind of became routine that we did and none of them were things that most people would give a second thought to. For example, we always got dropped off at the corner of College Street and Lexington Avenue. Sometimes dad dropped us off but most of the time we rode the city bus that picked us up on Elk Mountain Rd and in my earlier days, at the Stoney Knob Supermarket in Weaverville. For my brother and I, riding a bus anywhere but to school was a treat. Our first place that we ran to was into the pet store there on the corner. We never bought anything but those folks were kind enough to let us pet the puppies. That probably don’t mean anything to anyone else, but that is a treasure that I will likely never forget and can never have back again. My son has a saying that I find amusing. Everytime he remembers something, he says it is in his “Precious Memories,” referring to the gospel hymn. I have a lot of those “Precious Memories” that aren’t worth anything to anyone but me.
I am of the opinion that other than pointing someone to the Savior, which is the greatest thing you could ever do for someone, giving someone a memory is a treasured gift. My pastor and I were talking on Monday as we went to his radiation appointment, about how churches and preachers used to be, basically before we had so much and also knew so much. It seems that most of us are like Israel was in the bible. The more God gives and blesses, the more we turn away from him. As far as preachers, before we got so educated and knew so much, we had to pray and depend on God to help us. Nowadays, we have learned how to preach and we don’t seem to need the Holy Ghost and his guidance anymore. Those days way back yonder in church, are stored away in my precious memories. We also talked about other things like hunting Coke bottles and selling them at the little neighborhood store and turning right around and give the money back buying a drink and a candy bar or chips. Getting a Hot Wheel at Woolworth downtown on Saturdays for only 25 cents. That was one of the things we done with our aunt when we went to town.
The big thing in my mind that I treasure is people. Men like Ralph McLean who always tried to calm me when I would get nervous singing as he played guitar for me. Monte Rector who, at nearly 30 years old, bought a guitar and taught himself to play so our church could have more music. Pop Wheeler who, was the first example I remember of a really spiritual man. There have been a lot but time would fail me to tell all of them. Those people are treasures in my heart and that won’t never change. One other thing that got me to thinking along this line is a t-shirt I saw today. It said “Born poor live rich.” That pretty well sums up where I came from. I know I have mentioned some of these people before but I guess it’s all right. They are my treasures. I hope you have enjoyed this but I hope more that you have got to recalling some of your own “Treasures Of The Heart.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 4-3-18