24 May, 2010

A Treasured Life

Recently I was in Memphis, Tennessee with a small group and we decided to visit the home of Elvis Presley, Graceland Mansion. As we pulled up to park, the parking security guard asked me for the password. He had a certain twinkle in his eye so being a good Tuscaloosa girl, I replied, “Roll Tide”! “That’s the word”, he exclaimed, “I’m a University of Alabama fan. Welcome to Graceland”!

Wow, even Elvis loves the Crimson Tide!

As we entered the ticketing area, I suddenly realized that this tour idea might not have been too keen. There were lines of people waiting for tickets, taking photos, buying souvenirs and waiting to tour. We had to decide between the Graceland Mansion Tour, the Graceland Platinum Tour, or the Graceland Elvis Entourage VIP Tour. I suddenly understood that Elvis is the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”!

We got to the Mansion and began the tour. It was an interesting and fun experience. We saw custom room designs, custom-made clothing, and vintage pieces from Elvis’ life. We saw photos of him as a child, a young man, in his first movie, with his parents, on his wedding day, with his daughter, on stage. There was tons of amazing memorabilia of the life of Elvis Presley. There is an entire section of the tour dedicated exclusively to display his awards: Gold records, Platinum records, Grammy Awards, and on and on. What a gift this man was given in his music. I wish my words could express how overwhelming his career achievements felt to me that day.

Near the end of two hours, we had come to the end of the tour but were now going to see the racquetball court on the property. I walked into that room and literally my mouth dropped open. Here in this space, were more and more and more and more awards. I thought we had just seen every award possible in the main house but yet here were thousands more….the scene was just startling to me. Amazing, Elvis Presley.

That night in my bed, my head began to hear a whisper, “what is your treasure? What are your trophies? What plaques hang on the walls of your soul?”

But, I love you Lord, I thought.

“What treasures, Kat?”

I don’t have treasures Lord.

“What treasures, daughter?”

My Ray, I treasure. My Nick and my Sarah, I treasure. My protected middle-class life, I treasure. The comfort of my friends and my church, I treasure. My lifestyle, I treasure. The ability to do and go, I treasure. The independence of my choices, I treasure. My living a christian life, I treasure.

Do you notice: my, my, my? Certainly, all of these are blessings from the Lord. They each are gifts and given to me in love. But I realized that day that I hang these treasures on the walls of my heart. My eyes see them everyday and suddenly I can see nothing else. The treasures get dusty and begin to show their wear. The room they hang in becomes my entire world. The room becomes my entire focus. There are other rooms that beg for attention. Does one live in only one room?

I felt Him look at me and love me and whisper, “do you love me”, “sell it all for me and come follow me.”

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

…. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "

"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Mark 10: 17-21

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