Do you ask if ‘stuff’ is important?

| July 4, 2014 | 0 Comments
Whitley

Whitley

 

Chaplain (Capt.) Carlos Whitley
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Divison
The other day I heard someone say, “It used to be that we were taught that we love people and use stuff. But today we love stuff and use people.”
This comment struck a chord with me as I looked around at our society.
Chaplains spend quite a bit of time helping Soldiers and families repair relationships. This fact is nothing new. Chaplains have been doing this action since our inclusion in the Continental Army.
Life is about relationships. Yet, so often we get focused on stuff. We break our spouses’ hearts because stuff is done or stuff is broken or we can’t get stuff because the bills have to get paid. We break our own children’s hearts over stuff. We get angry because they have lost their stuff or broken their stuff or broken our stuff. At times, we are communicating to those we profess to love that stuff is more important than their hearts and emotional well-being.
Some stuff is important. Automobiles are important to get around. A home is important for protection. Toys are important to child development. Yet, these are just things that will wear out and go away.
Several years ago, I owned a lawn care business. Since it was a one-man job, I worked hard to keep what little equipment I had in good, working order. But over time, my mowers and trimmers just couldn’t keep up. I finally broke down, spent a little more money and purchased better quality equipment. That equipment was meant to last and it has.
We can spend our hard-earned money and time on things (stuff) that don’t last, or we can invest in the future, in relationships. Stuff will get broken, misplaced or stolen. We can replace stuff.
Relationships are not so easy to replace. Relationships are eternal. We will have to live with how we’ve treated others, especially those we love for all
eternity.
I am reminded of some counsel given to me years ago. Treat your wife like a princess, for one day you will have to stand judgment and answer for the way you treated her. That’s kind of a scary thought. But this should remind us that we are all God’s children, and one day we’ll have to answer for how we have treated our fellow man.
In the end, it’s a good reminder to love people and simply use stuff.
(Editor’s note: Whitley is chaplain for 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment.)

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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