In one of our guest bedrooms, my wife has a large treasure chest. It’s not filled with gold coins. This storage trunk is where she has always kept very important memorabilia—such as a 113 year old quilt made by her grandmother—since the beginning of our marriage over 38 years ago. On the outside of the canvas-covered trunk, are imprinted the initials M. M. for her maternal grandmother, Malinda Mann. This treasure chest is well over 100 years old.
Recently I read about a message given by Pastor Andy Stanley at Northpoint Church in Atlanta with this name, “Your Life is a Treasure Chest.” In his message, Stanley said, “You are a unique blend of experiences, successes, failures, and opportunities that make you a unique treasure. For you to have a life that counts, you have got to figure out how to leverage all of this for the sake of others.” I couldn’t agree more.
When I was in my early 40’s, I committed myself to pass on my life learnings to the generations behind me. Since that time, I’ve informally and formally tried to empty my treasure chest of valuables. Like your treasure chest, my failures, my successes, my life experiences, the combinations of good and bad, can all add value to those who are coming behind us.
You’ve probably heard some variation of this quote, “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” That’s not only true of material things, but it is true of those valuables in your “treasure chest” of life experiences. And the older we get, the more our treasure chest grows!
Let me ask you, who could be benefitting from the treasure that is in you? Are you mentoring anyone? Have you taken inventory of your treasure chest to even know what you have that could bless someone younger?
And don’t forget to your tabulate your failures in the total tally of your treasure chest inventory. Stanley went on to say, “It’s your failures that in some ways makes you a better candidate to communicate to the generation that’s coming behind you.” People don’t just want to know about your successes. They want to make sure they don’t repeat your failures. When you think about it, others can learn far more from your failure than from your success.
So, who could benefit from all the great and not-so-great things in your treasure chest? Ask God to show you. What steps will you take this week to begin to distribute the wealth you’ve stored up?
QUESTION: What is one thing you want to share with the generation after you? Share your comment below.