Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Jan. 22, 2009.
This allegory was inspired by — and is loosely based upon — a sermon I heard recently by Dr. David Jeremiah of San Diego.
Mr. and Mrs. Thing started out their married life concentrating on all the ways they could acquire things. They worked hard and bought more and more things to add to the collection of things they got at their wedding shower.
As their children grew, the Things bought all the things their children wanted. Soon, their children were obsessed with getting more and more things, too. They chose their careers, not according to what they might do for the good of others, but according to which ones would give them the most money so they could buy more things.
Instead of investing time and energy in ministry and service to others, the Things kept thinking up things to do that would help them obtain more things. They all took on additional jobs, despite the fact the Things had better-than-average earnings and lived quite comfortably.
However, they had to buy expensive things to care for and clean all the things that collected dust and dirt. Then they had to buy things to store away all the things they weren’t using.
The Things soon found they had to spend lots of money on things to protect their things from thing-stealers.
When Mr. Thing died, they put only one thing in his coffin — him.
Without him, Mrs. Thing soon lost interest in all the things she owned. She sold many of those things to second-hand things dealers and gave some of her things to families who didn’t have enough things necessary for survival.
Without a life cluttered with so many things, Mrs. Thing no longer needed a second job.
She had time to do things like volunteer at a local soup kitchen and deliver things for The Salvation Army to families who had lost all their things in a fire.
Mrs. Thing also had time for things like church.
Now that she didn’t need to buy more things, she gave more money so the church could promote things like faith, hope and love.
When Mrs. Thing died, they put only one thing in her coffin, too. Her.
But that wasn’t a bad thing because Mrs. Thing had learned how things create needs that things can’t satisfy. She had made provisions for the things she had left to be put to use for people who really needed things.
And, best of all, Mrs. Thing left us all a good reminder to keep first things first.