We used to live less than an hour from the heart of the Ohio Amish Country. The countryside there was pleasant to see and we frequently drove the back roads in every season and watched the progress of growing things and family life. My day off was Monday. That was usually our day to wander the back roads, browse the bookstores, and sample the baked goods of the Amish Country. We enjoyed picnics in the summer, apple cider in the fall, and coffee with cheese tarts to warm the coldest winter days. On warm spring afternoons we rolled down the windows to smell the fresh earth turned by horse-drawn plows and listen to the music of birds returned from their winter homes. Holmes County looks beautiful year round.
Once in our driving we noticed an unusual structure. It was a low cement block home built into a hillside with a flat black tar-paper roof. The land around it was pleasant, but I was surprised to see a structure with so little to commend itself aesthetically among so many pleasing Amish homes. Every time we traveled to the area we noticed the family that lived in the flat cement block house. A swing set and other playthings signaled the presence there of a young, growing family.
I’m not sure how many years we noticed that home. It may have been four or five years, until one day we were driving down the road and we were suprised to see that on top of the low structure of block set a beautiful three-story home. The family had been saving money all those years, living in the basement, so they could afford to build their dream home.
If you are ever tempted to discouragement with your accommodations or circumstances here on earth you might want to keep in mind that you are living in the basement. If you are a child of God your dream home is not on this earth. If things are hard or you are troubled with aging or sickness, or if you have been able to gather very little, you need to remember that you are living in the basement right now. It is not your dream house. It is not your final destination.
One day all the things you hoarded will be gone. All the things you labored for, all the things you coveted, all the things you argued and struggled to gather, all the things you stored, all your status symbols and toys, all your favorite personal things will be burned up. Before that it is likely that they will either wear out or they will fall into the hands of other people. So don’t worry too much about the basement. Don’t spend a lot of money on the basement. Don’t get too comfortable in the basement.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and thieves and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21)
“We do not look on the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
“…since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of ht day of God, because of which the heaven will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 1:17)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)