Meridian Star

November 9, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hidden in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has and buys the field.

    Matthew 13:44

A few years ago, I read about a nine foot Louis Tiffany stained glass that was destined for the trash. The Birmingham News reported that the stained glass had been stored, along with other garbage, in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee. It seems that the maintenance people thought it was a crate of broken glass. Upon inspection, they discovered a figure of Christ made by Louis Tiffany in 1905. A similar window had sold ten years earlier for $132,000.

    Our society has a habit of throwing away anything old just to have something new. A new house may not be built as well as an old one. A new car may have more bugs than the old one. A new spouse could be just as irritable as the last. The list goes on, but you sense the drift, don’t you? Often, we throw away what is valuable just to have something new.

    Another bad habit is the tendency to overlook the value of blessings all around us. I don’t know how financially sound the church in Memphis may have been, but I imagine the finance committee never realized how much they really had in the basement of the church until it was almost too late. Instead of dreaming about what we want, we could do better to acknowledge what we already own. We are richer than we think.

    A final lesson is that a blessing must be used to be appreciated. Stained glass crated in a storage room inspired no one. Our blessings are meant to be shared.  The window being admired by onlookers as the sunlight refracted through it is what the original creator wished. God wants us to let his blessings be celebrated by others, not saved in some secret place where no one can see.

    Why don’t you look around and make an appraisal of the blessings you have?. You may have, in your life, something even more valuable than stained glass. What price can you place upon life, or health? How much is friendship worth to you? How special is a sunrise or a song of a bird? What price do you place on the hug of a grandchild or the laughter of family? All of these possessions are valuable and are given to us by God to be enjoyed. My prayer is that you discover all the priceless riches God has given to you today.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.