This month our local art center is featuring the nativity collection of a well-known woman in our community. “A friend’s comment piqued my interest and I started searching for unique crèches in my travels,” she said. This display is just a small part of her extensive collection.
People collect everything from pocketknives, fishing lures, and matchbooks, to the more unique and expensive items. I started collecting turtles several years back because I related to their habit of tucking their head inside their shell for safety. I was afraid to “stick my neck out” or be noticed. I sought to blend into the background.
In my 40’s I learned the reason for my fears: childhood sexual abuse. I spent two intense years counseling with my pastor and several more years processing what I learned. This helped me move beyond the fears that held me captive. When I found a ceramic turtle with his head inside his shell, I purchased it and set him next to a turtle who’s neck is fully protruded—kind of a before and after picture of my life. I still have fears, but now I prefer to experience life rather than hide from it.
When we bought a small apple orchard, I began to buy apple knick-knacks. I also collected owls for a while, but I can’t remember any particular reason for that. I just liked them, or maybe I wanted to become “wise as an owl.”
I don’t collect mice or find anything about them cute—perhaps because we live in the country and I’ve had to deal with their attempts each fall to find a warm spot in my home.
Joe Stowell, in a devotional he wrote for Our Daily Bread, said this about collections, “…it is sobering to think that once we leave this earth, everything we own becomes a part of someone else’s collection.” I wonder if my kids will appreciate all my “treasures?
More importantly, Jesus talked about our habit of collecting possessions in Matthew 6:19-20 (NKJV), “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”
Collections are a fun hobby and can add interest to our life, but they can also become expensive and obsessive. After awhile you may question, “Do I own my possessions or do they own me?”