Searching for thin places, Treasure in our lives

July 27, 2012

Treasure in our lives

This week our entire community is filled with teenagers. There are some from Sweden, Scotland, Canada, England, U.S. and Mexico. The Iona Community considers it very important to work with youth from throughout the world. Historically the youth camped on the grounds of the Abbey, but now with accommodations in the Abbey and Macleod centre, they stay indoors. The theme for the week is "Treasures," and that will take on all the fun type of themes in the form of game shows and pirate parties. On a more serious note the youth will explore what they treasure in their life, what treasures hold them, and what do they do with their treasures.

We are invited to their sessions, if we are not working, and if we can stay awake long enough. Because they are youth many of their sessions take place after evening worship is dismissed (9:30 p.m.), and therefore, I am not able to stay up that late. But simply hearing the review of their sessions has started me to thinking. What do you treasure most? Certainly I would have to put my family right up there at the very top. Not very large and concentrated mostly in one place family is my most treasured treasure. I would have to say my friends, which fortunately for me is an ever growing population. The only reason I really enjoy social media networks is to have the distinct privilege of staying in touch with my friends all over the world. Just last week I heard from friends in Cambodia, India and Hong Kong. I don't place much stock in my possession treasures, although I admit some of my possessions are treasured. My niece asked me when she was in charge of my house "what should I try to save if the house catches fire?" My response, "you and the dog, and if worse comes to worse we can get another dog." Clearly if you know me I love my puppy, but I can't purchase more family.

I think the other critical question they will be looking at is what do you do with your treasure? Certainly how we use our incomes to impact ourselves and society is an increasing concern. Early in my stay here this time I was working on my new household budget. Because of decisions made by others, I will be facing a reduction in my household income and I want to make certain that the things I am responsible for will be covered. So I spent some time working on my budget, and could not figure out why there was this chunk of money left over at the end of the budget. I kept going through the numbers, again and again, and it was a mystery. I left it alone and went with some friends on a walk, and the discussion turned to finances. First thing one of them said was after their tithe, and it was a slap on the forehead. That is where my money goes first, and I was so used to taking it out, that I didn't even think about it. That was the money at the end of the budget, it wasn't left over, and it was money that I typically don't count. Duh!

Maybe it's time to pay more attention. Maybe it is time to check where our treasures are, what our treasures are doing and what do we treasure.