My uncle was a Tuskegee Airman. I recently watched the movie (I’m late) and I so appreciate his struggle to become someone great and serve our country. Growing up, he was just Uncle Wade. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and I knew that was significant because he was African-American, but until I saw the movie I had no idea how rare this accomplishment was or how hard he worked to achieve that rank. He never talked about it and, as a child, I never asked.
Everywhere he traveled and lived, like England and Japan and Germany, he sent my mother special gifts. Among them were china and figurines and other trinkets. She died this past summer and I have inherited all of those things. My mother always kept these items locked up for safekeeping and never used them because they were so special. Now I’m left wondering what to do with the “good stuff”.
I’m sure when he gave these things to her, he expected her to use them. But to her they were so valuable that she locked them away and never displayed them in order to preserve them. I’ve looked up the value of some of the China and the other little glassware from Occupied Japan, and they’re not worth anywhere near as much as we might’ve expected.
I must admit, that I’ve always been more of a paper plate and earthenware kind of girl. When you come to my house, you are not likely to be served on China or eat with silver. I really don’t know what to do with these things. The last thing I need is more trinkets to dust. I’m sure she had the best intentions when she put his gifts away though, and sometimes we do that with things we consider special.
It reminds me of the parable about the ten talents. God gives us gifts to use, and when we use what He gives us, they have a miraculous way of multiplying. When we lock them away and try to hide them out of fear of loss or damaging them, they actually decrease in value.
We don’t know what the future holds or how much time we have left. We do know the One Who holds the future. With whatever time we have, we should drink out of the crystal glasses; eat off the fine China; use the best silver; sit on the good furniture; and go ahead and wear the finest dress clothes that we have while they still fit and are in style!
I’m sure my mother thought that one day she would get to enjoy those things and I’m confident that her brother intended for her to. So I’m going to bless them both and I’m not going to put those things on display any longer, but I’m going to make use of them, and I encourage you to do the same with your good stuff.
If you go home to be with the Lord before the rest of your loved ones and you leave things behind, they should use whatever you leave, but you should enjoy it while you have breath in your body right now. The really good stuff is in Heaven! Use up what you have here; this is just a dress rehearsal anyway.