As parents, one of the assumed goals, or perhaps an expected conclusion to one’s earthly lifespan, is to have an estate of earthly wealth to leave to your heirs, an inheritance consisting of the culmination of the parents’ material possessions, monetary wealth, and other items of value or heritage. What a grand finale to one’s life, a testimony to the hard work and perseverance of the parent, and a testament for the child of the parents’ thought and care in putting this gift aside for them.
It’s an ideal and worthy goal, though not all parents have the means to provide such a generous inheritance.
As for my own children, I have some bad news and some good news….
Though I wouldn’t say we have lived a life of poverty by any means, neither have we consistently had the easy road to financial success. Had we used more wisdom in planning for the future, perhaps things would be different now. As they say, it is what it is!
So, I’m sorry my dear ones, I cannot offer you or even promise you any earthly inheritance of wealth, prestige, or fame. I cannot give you that which I do not have. To my knowledge, there are no well-to-do ancestors in our family history, and if there are, I doubt their money trail will ever lead to our door. As far as material possessions, well, you know how much I love thrift stores! Most of what is in our home is 2nd hand, well used, and aside from a few pieces of vintage cabinetry, offers very little in monetary value. However, if you hold dear to sentiment as I do, you will find many priceless treasures.
But if it is wealth, prestige and power that you long for, there is another path which holds more promise and satisfaction. It is the one carved out by you alone.
It is the one which bears the manifestations from your own efforts, your own hard work and determination. You will decide what it looks like, and you will determine where it will lead. Your name will be printed on the road sign and the story it tells will be your very own.
As you go along, you may occasionally look behind you to see how far you’ve come. It will be a familiar sight, marked with evidence of your hard work and victories, your struggles and regrets, your sacrifices, and, no doubt, your rewards, also.
Undoubtedly, you will notice some bumps in the road. Those were likely the life issues that threatened your journey with distraction or circumstance. You held on and with your eyes fixed forward, you navigated over and around them.
You also see the smoother areas of the path. Aww, those were good times… happy times! Life was good and you found joy in the little things. You held your head high and didn’t even have to look down to watch the road. With momentum going strong and steady, you breezed along easily.
But you also notice, there are some pretty deep potholes. In fact, you fell into some of those, got a few bruises and still bear some scars, too. They bring some painful memories to mind, and it hurts to think about them. But here’s the thing about those deeper holes. There’s a good ledge there on which to get a good foothold and lift yourself up and out. You found new strength that you didn’t have before, brushed yourself off, and once again, started moving forward. There you go, you got this!
You didn’t know life would be so hard sometimes, but you also didn’t know how strong you could be. Cutting in those new paths takes strength, focus, and endurance.
You’re just starting out now, and don’t know yet just where your path will lead. But wherever your destination may be, be sure to enjoy the journey along the way, for before you know it, the time will pass and you will wonder where it all went.
Though I hope for you a life filled with successes and financial ease, there is something I want you to remember: Success isn’t always measured by a person’s level of education or their career accomplishments, and the value of material possessions and financial security isn’t always defined by a dollar amount or the balance in one’s bank account. Rather, true wealth is made up of the people who surround you, the relationships you have cultivated, your service to others, and the love and compassion which permeates throughout your life. And true riches is not measured in dollars, but instead is made up of the heavenly treasure which you have stored in your eternal bank account.
“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.” Matthew 6: 19-21
One more thing…. this journey should not be taken alone. For though you do not know what is ahead, there is One who does. Allow Him to guide and help navigate your way. When those difficult times come in your journey, turn to your Savior Jesus Christ, who knows the end of your story and who will walk along side of you every step of the way if you ask Him to.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
This is for you, my most prized treasure:
With love, Mom