When I was a junior in college, I read an article by Bill Hybels called “The Art of Self Leadership.” The article helped me self-reflect in a way I’d never known before, and it changed my life so dramatically that I made it a habit to read it annually.
One thing Hybels addressed was, “What do I treasure?” Then, he told this story:
When our kids were young and Lynne and I needed some husband-wife time, we’d get a babysitter. And I’d give those sitters my little talk. As we were heading out, I would say, “You need to know something. We only have two treasures in this life, only two. I don’t care if you wreck our car or if the house burns down while we’re gone. Really. Just promise me. Promise me you’ll take really good care of our children. They are all that really matter to us in this world.”
God is saying to leaders, “Promise me. Give me your word. Take care of my treasures. Grow in leadership so that you become the greatest you can be at taking care of my treasures. Love them. Nurture them. Develop them. Challenge them. Mature them. They are all that really matters to me in this world.”
It still brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.
It was during my years in college that my treasures saw a dramatic transformation. As an incoming freshman, the things I had my heart most set on were: getting excellent grades so that I could impress people with how smart I was, filling my resume with various leadership roles so that I could impress people with how competent I was, and attracting a handsome, brilliant, successful, nice husband.
By God’s grace and through much humiliation and failure, when I graduated from college, my heart beat for: a life-long journey of continually deepening my own love for and intimacy with Jesus, helping college students know and love Jesus, and a handsome, way-too-strong-in-character-just-to-be-’nice’ musician named Jason Larsen.
Life is a journey. While God has righted some of my heart treasures, I know that there remain treasures in my heart very much in need of transformation.
Oh, Lord, make my heart like Your heart. As I go about my day, in my home, among my family and friends, and out into my community, help me to treasure You and people most of all. Amen.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But 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.”
*This story was written originally for my church’s monthly newsletter, Here@First, for which I write periodically. I don’t know how many people actually read it there, but I thought a wider readership might enjoy it. So I’m just re-sharing with you.