Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The case of the missing boom box

Good morning,
I pray that the day is finding you well.

A boom box went missing the other day.

I found out about it as I went into the person’s office and she was complaining that somebody took her boom box. It was in her office when she left on Friday but was missing when she came back on Monday. Needless to say she was pretty upset. She wanted to know who took her stuff.

The funny thing about “stuff” is that we get attached to it. When “stuff” goes missing we wonder two things: one-where it went and two-who might have taken it. We go to great detail as to “why” someone would take our stuff.

As she lamented the loss of her boom box I said, “We live in a broken world.” She said, “Roger, that doesn’t help.” I said, “I know.” So often we try to ultra spiritualizing something and offering someone no real help often times inadvertently hurting them even more. To push her buttons a little more I said, “Maybe they needed the boom box more than you.” She said, “That doesn’t help either.” I said, “I know.” She said, “I just want to know where my boom box is and why someone would take it.”

So the hunt was on.

At first the thought of a practical joke crossed our minds. When after a time no one returned the boom box the idea of a joke had passed.

We looked up and down but to no avail.

Two days go by.

It was Wednesday afternoon and I was walking through the YMCA and there on top of the sound equipment in one of the studios was a boom box that looked exactly like the one that had been missing. An instructor was teaching a class and the music was playing. I went to get my friend who had lost her boom box.

She looked in the studio and sure enough that was her boom box.

She turned and started walking back to her office smiling.

I said, “Aren’t you going to get your boom box?”
She said, “No they are using it.”

I said, “We live in a broken world.” And smiled at her.

Suddenly she realized that when I said that two days ago I wasn’t lamenting over the brokenness of everyone else in the world. I was making an observation that her perceived need for her “stuff” had taken her to a place of anger and anguish; that even though someone took her boom box without asking or at least leaving her a note that she was placing a lot of value on something that could break or be gone in an instant.

True happiness doesn’t come from the things we own.

True happiness comes from the things we share.

She wasn’t there the Saturday that the sound equipment failed and a group exercise instructor was scrambling to find something that would work for a class. That is why the boom box went missing. In her haste she forgot to leave a note and then forgot to leave a note after the class.

It was fun to see her smile!

Matthew 6:19-2119 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.