A Note From Your Elder Chair

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

                                                                      --Matthew 6:19-21 As you know from my previous meditations for the weekly update, I work at a particularly stressful job. It is paying the bills, but it is hurting my health and my personal relationships with family and friends. It is certainly hurting my relationship with God.

I met with my friend James this past Friday after work and, yet again, vented to him about my job. We talked about remedies – including finding another job. I shared with him that my job situation in my profession as an architect is not unique. The profession – like most professions - is just more demanding than in previous generations. I noted to James that I have vetted this with other colleagues across the country. Searching for “greener pastures” is not going to be the solution.

We talked some more and then, as we came to a pause in the conversation, he asked me, “Dana, what is it that you treasure?”

He then reminded me - as he does nearly every time we get together - nothing is worth forsaking my relationships with my family, my friends and my heavenly Father.

I sometimes think that God is speaking to me through my friend James.

I treasure my wife Suzette – she is my rock. I treasure my son – he “done good” as we would say in southern Missouri.

I treasure my parents and my memories of them. I have come to realize that I was fortunate to have parents who were capable of unconditional love, who were supportive and were active participants in my childhood and teenage years (band parents, church youth leaders, etc.).

I treasure my sisters - who have forgiven me for the cruel ways I treated them emotionally when we were teenagers and whom I now rely on for emotional support.

I treasure you - my “church family.” We don’t just preach about being a New Testament church – We live it.

We actively participate in Fifth Sunday projects, the Mitten Tree, Week of Compassion Offering, supporting the Wheeling Township Food Pantry, and on and on…

More importantly, we love each other.

We engage in each other’s lives and we care for each other. We pray for each other. We spiritually and intellectually challenge each other. We laugh with each other during happy times. We cry with each other during sad times. We form true friendships with each other that go beyond the church walls.

We don’t always get it right, but that is part of what it is to be family. And… we try to foster an environment in which forgiveness can exist when mistakes are made.

I treasure my friend James – and give thanks for the times that God is speaking to me through him. More to come…

                                                              --Dana Auman