Owner or Renter

As seen in the HEARTbeat and Village Voice

“Owner or Renter?”


            We moved around a lot when I was a young.  Being born into a military family means you don’t put down deep roots as you’ll soon have to “pull up stakes” and head to the military member’s next assignment in a few years.  As such, we lived in base housing or rented somewhere off base.

            When my father was reassigned to Schweinfurt, Germany, we arrived with no place to stay.  Base housing was full, so my father found a little place in the downtown district above a bar.  We didn’t stay there long, as Dad found a place outside the city limits in a little village called Niederwerrn.

            The owners of our new home lived on the first floor while my family lived on the second floor.  The husband was very accommodating, even getting into snowball fights with my brother and I.  His wife took great pride in the home.  To enter either residence, you would have to enter an entry way.  From this entry way, you could either enter the landlord’s residence through their front door, or climb the stairs to our family’s residence.  Oh, did I mention the floor of the entry way and the staircase were solid marble!  The wife of the landlord kept the area spotless, even hand waxing every stair.  It’s hard for a child to come in from two-feet of snow and not track in a little of the white stuff.  The trick was to enter into the house (at which time a buzzer sounded signaling your arrival) and dash up the marble staircase and into our home before the landlord’s wife could come out and inspect your boots.  I learned a great deal of the German language while we were there, but one of the sources was not from the yells and screams of the landlord’s wife because of footsteps on her prized staircase!

            Why do we put such great stock in earthly possessions, especially our homes?  After all, they’re just houses, and places for us to reside for the few hours a day.  It seems the older we get, the more stuff we accumulate in them.  We go through our stuff and “thin the herd” from time to time, but we keep what we call treasures and wouldn’t part with them for the world.

            This is the viewpoint the writer of Hebrews warned against.  Hebrews 13:14 says, “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.”  Jesus also said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

            All we have around us is just stuff anyway.  Try shifting focus onto your treasures in heaven and off the stuff on earth.  When we do, we will only be renters of this temporary home and will eventually be owners of a place Jesus built just for us!

  Mountainside Church · 301 Elcano Drive
Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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