I love moonlit nights. There’s a special magic, the peaceful solitude of being alone on such evenings. God seems especially present at such times.

I was visiting my sister recently, who was living with her family in a lovely rented house on the shores of the Shuswap Lake. I went for a walk in the moonlit yard after everyone else had gone to bed and was immediately taken by the calm beauty of my surroundings. It was perfect: the lapping of the water against a dock, the willows just up from the beach, all bathed in glorious moonlight. I wanted to own a piece of it. What wouldn’t be more natural than to possess something so lovely, to have access and control?

But then the thought struck me as idolatrous. We have to let go of everything eventually; certainly our possessions, eventually our youth and health, the people in our lives, and sooner or later, life itself. We will have to say goodbye, whether these things leave before or after us.

Think of the misery people have created for themselves so they could control something a little longer; more and more debt, both parents working longer hours when time could have been spent with the kids. Missed mealtimes together, learning of the day’s activities, laughing, growing, living a life together – all for more toys. I am sometimes tempted to regret lost opportunities for accumulating wealth sooner, forgetting the blessings I’ve enjoyed by the course I have in fact lived. Is knocking myself out for more or better toys worth the toll exacted on my joy?

One of the stupidest things we can say is “MINE”. It is the ugliest word in the English language, and we learn the spirit of it long before we can speak the word. We want control, we want access on our own terms – often even at the expense of others. God sends blessings into our lives for a season, to be enjoyed and released when their time is past. Perhaps to make room for more good things He wants to pour into our lives. We need to always keep that thought before us.

I believe now, more than ever, that God loves me, and that my own fear often keeps me from enjoying more of what He has in store. There has to be a receiving, and there has to be a letting go. But there are exceptions: I don’t have to let go of joy. Or goodness, faith, love, trust.

It’s said that your heart will be where your treasure is.