Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The sentimental value

This week I have been thinking about the "sentimental value" of the things we accumulate for years.

Maybe because I had to unpack so many boxes since we moved a few months ago to a new place...

There are things that I keep for almost 40 years, basically because of their sentimental value:

1.       A Handmade wooden Fishboat – I still remember the day staring at the shop looking at the boat, and forcing my parents to pay $5, a fortune at the time, for this small boat. I still have it in my office, and can't give it away…

2.       A motorcycle Kawasaki 1000  – never played with it, afraid to break it or damage it. I kept this toy inside a glass box only for contemplation, maybe waiting for a baby boy to play with it. God gave me two wonderful daugthers who don't have riding license for this! And I never gave  it to any children because of the sentimental value...

3.       A Handmade Wood Lamp - made by me at the School (1975) – used it as my lamp during my teenager years. Moved home 3 times without being used. It's just a lamp, I never gave up, hoping to see it working one day…

4.       A New Testament – my first one (1975). Maybe because I found on it many of the words I know today... maybe because it says "This New Testament belongs to the boy Alberto Jorge…”

Things that I keep because of their sentimental value! What is the sentimental value? How much is that? How do we calculate it? If I try to sell them on eBay I would probably get no bids, meaning it has value just for me.

Then I think abou the practical value of these items. How useful would be them in other hands? Two toys would make two kids happy just for a short time, while the boat and the motorcycle keep together in one peace... much less time than the one I have dedicated to look at them for my own joy. A Lamp would give light to someone who don't have a lamp... but is there anyone who have electricity and don't have a lamp?...

My big dilema comes when I think about the 4th item – my first New Testament! No doubt about the sentimental value, given the fact part of who I'm is the result of my reading from that book. I'm pretty sure that I learned about God and Jesus on this small book. It was reading this New Testament that I found what would be the values for my life. No doubt that I keep this booked since March 24th 1975, and this has a unmeasurable sentimental value. I want to keep it forever…

But… what about its spiritual value? This book is the Word of God! And the Bible says the Word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) and that the gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

Here is the dilema… what do I value on this object – the sentimental value or the spiritual value? How useful would it be in other hands? With me, it will only be a remembering item, full of significance, that will remind me about myself and my walking with God. But on the hands of other person... I cannot guarantee... I only know about its power, and capability to change lives.

If there is a small chance for this book to be read by someone which life can be changed through its reading, I don't want to stop it because my personal feelings and experience.
To be true, its spiritual values is much higher than its sentimental value.
So, out of 4 items I keep for almost 4 decades, this will be the first to go so it can be "lamp for the feet, and light on the path (Psalm 119:105) of someone.
What about you, have you though about this?

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