And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Public Auction
♪fowty-now-♫fowtyfibe-now♫-fibe-wiyagimme-♪fowtyfibe-now-fifty♪ - Sold! for $50.00 to #174! Ahh, the fun, confusing auctioneer chant! Each auctioneer has their own way of "chanting" - some are fast, some more slow, some with funny filler words, some just simple words - some confusing, some clear. No matter the chant, though, you never want to scratch your head, wave, point at anything or faster than you know it, you've bought something you really didn't want. It does not matter if it is raining, snowing, hot & humid, bidders will always show up. Some get to the auction alittle early so they can browse around, looking for things they can use and maybe, just maybe, they will be the highest bidder. Some will show up an hour before the auction is over and still ask for a number. Some will bring lawn chairs, blankets and a thermos with hot coffee if it is chilly weather, sunglasses and cool drinks if it is hot- some will come ill prepared thinking they won't stay very long. It always makes for an interesting crowd!
The bottom line of an auction, though, is this.....the auctioneer is there is sell someone's stuff and the bidders are there to buy it. And usually it is taking place because that someone has either passed away or has to move and downsize. I have found myself in front of the auction block and sometimes behind the auction block helping to clerk for my cousin, who is the best auctioneer around. I love being in both of those positions, and know it would be easy for me to become an "auction addict". Over time, though, the whole scenerio has got my mind to churning with thoughts and questions (I know, why does that happen? A fun thing turns to a deeper issue). I started looking at the items in a different light. The items being sold tell alot about what kind of lifestyle the owner lived. Everything that is sold was owned by that somebody and that item could have been that somebody's treasured item. Or the items being sold could've been a collection that took place over this person's lifetime, consuming much wasted time and energy. Maybe the item was that owners father's or grandfather's and had deep meaning to him. Maybe his sweetheart gave it to him while they were dating. Maybe her grandchildren made it for her. Maybe it was a reminder of trials that were overcome by hard work. Maybe that worn apron was her favorite and that broken hammer was one he used to build his little boys go-cart with. However, when it is held up for the bidders to view, we see it in a totally different light! It holds no nostalgia to us. To me, it is sad thinking that the items with wonderful stories behind them, come to the block and hardly sell for a dollar. Maybe they will even go to the NO SALE pile. The items that meant so much to their owners now are meaningless, because they are gone and could not take them along. It is a reminder to me, too, that when it is our time to go, we also will take nothing. Nothing material anyway. My dad always said, "the only thing I can take to Heaven is my children". So, now the questions......what am I putting value on? What are my "treasures" and should they be my "treasures". Does what I have make any difference to anyone else or make anyone else's life better? Or is it "stuff" robbing me of my valuable time and energy that could be spent doing things for my family, friends & neighbors. What will people think of my "stuff" when my cupboards, drawers, closets, attic, and basement are emptied and held up at the auction block? Will they see a life lived for Christ or a life seeking after material things? The scripture says, "Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where niether moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." So, where is my heart? Where is yours? "Lord, open our eyes to see clearly where our treasures are and give us strength to make the needed changes that when we leave this earth, the auction block will speak of a life well lived for You."