by Kevin Rutherford


I enjoy working on the house and yard.  Unfortunately I do not have as much time for that as I would like.  However, a certain amount of time must be allotted to the upkeep of a home or it will begin to deteriorate.  I have been told that if a person owns his own house, he will never run out of things to do.  There is grass to cut, weeds to trim, wood to stain or paint, and items to be repaired.

I enjoy working on cars.  I like to wash and wax them.  I enjoy performing minor repairs and maintenance on them.  Recently my daughter (under my supervision and instruction) replaced the spark plugs in my car.  Components on any vehicle wear out with time and use.

There are lessons that I can learn from trying to maintain a house and a car.  One of those lessons is that material possessions require effort to keep them.  The more a person has, the more that person has to maintain.  Material items age, decay, and come apart.  They will not last forever, and one cannot hold on to them forever (James 1:9-11; 5:1-3).  No matter how well I maintain my car or my house they will both eventually decay to the point of being unusable. Even if I were able to maintain them until I died, I would still lose possession of them at that point.

Another lesson I can learn from home maintenance is that time is slipping away.  I find it fascinating to drive out into the country and see old houses and barns that are no longer in use.  Walls are collapsing, floors are sinking, and roofs are caving in.  Time has taken its toll on empty houses that may once have sheltered a happy family or two.  Because time passes so quickly we must make the best of it (Colossians 4:5).

A third very important lesson I can learn from home maintenance is that there are many things far more important than material possessions.  It is certainly good for us to spend some time in taking care of those things which we have (1 Corinthians 4:2).  However, we must spend much more time in pursuing spiritual matters.  Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).”

The maintenance of your soul is much more important than the maintenance of any material possession.  All that is made of matter will one day be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10-13).  It will all be destroyed on that day when the Lord returns to judge mankind (Matthew 25:31-46).  The material items of the world will end, but my soul will go on.  Which then should I spend more time on? Don’t let home maintenance interfere with soul maintenance.