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Things Come and Things Go
Lance Odeneale

"The other thing that stands out to me is, that
no matter how much you accumulate on this
earth, the only thing that you can take to
Heaven is other people.  I want  more than
anything for that to be my family."
Lance Odeneale


Throughout my life, it has been my quest to
find out what it is that is  really important.
seemed to be so many things that were
important. Was I saving enough money to
retire?  How would I buy a big enough house?  
Did I drive a nice car? Did I have the right
clothes... and on and on the list  went.

Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: But lay up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither
moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
do not break through nor steal: For where your
treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Throughout my life, it has been my quest to
find out what it is that is really important. When
I first started my search years ago, there
seemed to be so many things that were
important. Was I saving enough money to
retire? How would I buy a big enough house?  
Did I drive a nice car? Did I have the right
clothes... and on and on the list went.

At the time, there seemed to be so many
things that were important to me, but the
more I search, and as time passes, the list
grows smaller and smaller. My list began to
shrink as I watched and listened to my 4 year
old son, Ryan.

Ryan has always been a happy little boy who is
just glad to be on board. I began to understand
why as I listened to him and saw the things
that made him happy. There was the night that
I tucked him in bed, still wearing his brand new
pair of shoes. After giving me a good night kiss,
he looked up at me and said, "Oh, Daddy, I love
my new shoes so much, thank you!"  He had no
idea that they were not a brand name or that
they had only cost 3 dollars, nor did he even
care. He was just thankful for having them.

Then there was the day that I had been talking
to him about how I wished we had a bigger
home.  Almost in disbelief that I wasn't happy,
he said, "But, Daddy, I love our little house, let's
keep it."  Then he went on to say "When I get
married one day, Dad, can we stay here, too?"
Again, he showed me true thankfulness. Our
house may be small, but it keeps him dry in the
rain, warm in the winter, and cool in the
summer. What else could he ask for? It took
several more profound statements from Ryan
before things finally started to sink in.

Then it really hit me one night as I lay in bed.
Due to the size of our house, our family had
grown to the point that we had to move all of  
the beds into one room.  IT was now literally
the "bed" room.  To look at us from a worldly
standpoint, we looked like we didn't have a
whole lot. I looked on the left side of our bed
and there lay our 6 month old baby, Joel,
sleeping peacefully in his baby bed.  Then I
looked to my right and there lay Ryan sleeping
in his bed. As I reached over, not even having
to get out of bed to cover him up and kiss his
cheek, I thought that I truly am the richest
man in the world.
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continue to stand out to me. Ask anyone "I
just wish that I could have made a little will
say something like "I just wish that I would
have spent more time with my family, enjoy
them while you can."

The other thing that stands out to me is,
that no matter how much you accumulate on
this earth, the only thing that you can take
to Heaven is other people.  I want more than
anything for that to be my family.

God has truly given me a precious family and
more and more every day I find out just how
precious they are. I think that the greatest
lesson that I have learned so far on the
search is that things will come and things will
go, but there will only be one first step, one
first skinned knee, one first home run and
one first date.  

Then there will come the day when the firsts
will be over and my children will be grown. I
will have raised them to adults and I will no
longer hear "Can I have a glass of milk?"  Or
"Can you make me a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich?"  They will be able to stand alone,
adults, embarking on their own
journey.

When that day does come, the memories of
their precious childhoods will live only in my
mind to be played over and over again. And
through is all, when it's all said and done, you
can know one thing. Things will still come and
things will still go.

I will now pray every day to not get caught
up in the things and the cares of this world.
Those  I will always have, but my children will
grow up. I will hug a little longer, play a little
more, throw one more ball, and make
memories that will last a lifetime.

The above article by Lance Odeneale is used
exclusively on our website in accordance with
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"Things will Come and Things will Go" ©
copyright 1999-2001, Lance Odeneal, all
rights reserved.  

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Thank you!
"I will now pray every day to not get
caught up in the things and the cares of  
this world. Those  I will always have, but
my children will grow up. I will hug a little
longer, play a little more, throw one more
ball, and make memories that will last a
lifetime. " Lance Odeneale
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