Hidden Treasure

Before there was Amazon.com, there was the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Some of you remember it. The Big Book came early once a year and sometime in the fall the Christmas Wish Book would arrive.  Oh, the joy!

I would sit for hours and covet every item in there. That was our way, in my day,  of “surfing the net” but if we found something that we really wanted, it wasn’t a click, but a physical order with a form that we tore off, filled out, wrote a check for, and placed in the outgoing mail.

The waiting period was excruciating. There was no telling when it would arrive or if it would arrive.

Sears sold from the catalog everything from petticoats to percolators. Houses to hubcaps. That’s right. They sold house building kits if you can believe it. For $6,000 or so you could buy the parts (precut and labeled) to construct a whole house. There were plans to choose from and you could hire someone to help put it together or do it yourself.

One day, a box from Sears arrived addressed to my mother. It was about the size of a small shoe box. When shaken it rattled something fierce and I was afraid whatever it was had broken into a million pieces. I was so afraid I had damaged what was inside when I shook it.

When Mama opened it, however, I discovered an amazing treasure trove. It was a box of 100s of miscellaneous buttons. Large, small, bejeweled, plain, wooden, fabric, plastic. Some were themed: nautical, popular toys, holidays, animals, patriotic, abstract art. They were just buttons, but they were treasures to me. I could sit and look at them for hours, instead of perusing the catalog from which they were ordered. (Apparently, I had a lot of time on my hands as a child.)

Anyway, the adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…” comes to mind. What one sees as valuable, the other may see as junk. Most people wouldn’t find a box of buttons precious. Not a treasure to be sure.

Later on as a child I learned a lot of scripture at various programs at church. This is one that I could recite as a 1st grader. This is the King James Version. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” A more modern translation (NASB) reads, “I have treasured Your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against You.” (Ps. 119:11).

Fortunately, I’ve moved on from catalogs and button boxes and found a greater, no, the greatest treasure. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt. 6:21)

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