Until a couple of weeks ago, I never knew the disgusting nature of mothballs. I remember reading about them in quaint, nostalgic books as a child and so I unknowingly tossed them into the bags of winter clothes that we stored in the loft over the summer. I don’t mind being a bit old-fashioned from time to time.
When we got the clothes down, however, I nearly gagged. I nearly couldn’t bear the job of washing everything and hanging it out to dry – hoping the fresh air would take the edge off of the horrible smell. Next year, frankly, the baby moths are welcome to our clothes.
I’ve been thinking about those mothballs a lot, even when I don’t smell them. I’ve been feeling that maybe God has something to say to me about the way that I sometimes store my faith away in mothballs, out of sight and out of use.
Jesus told a story about a man who went on a trip and left 3 servants in charge of his wealth. Two of them invested the money and so earned more for their master (good), one of them dug a hole and hid the money in the ground (bad). The master wasn’t pleased with servant number three even though his money was kept perfectly safe. I guess that wasn’t the point. The third servant hid the money because he was afraid. If the other guys got good returns, risk must have been a part of their investment. Risky; good. Playing it safe; bad.
Fear stops us doing lots of things. It stops us from becoming all that we can be and keeps us from giving all that we give. Other parts of the Bible seem to say that the way to have less fear, is to step out, the way to have more love is to begin loving, the way to have more faith, is to put in to action the faith that we have, no matter how small it is.
I don’t want my love, my faith, my gifts smelling of mothballs.