Seven weeks ago, my truck was stolen.
The truck was packed with everything I owned. I had just gotten a new job in Dallas and couldn’t wait to get on the road. The drive from Minnesota would be a long one, but a new life with new friends and family was waiting for me down south and I was thrilled.
After fifteen hours, the taillights on the trailer I was pulling started to fail. I had already pulled over two or three times before to adjust the wiring harness – you know, the cables that connect the big trailer to the big truck.
In the distance, I saw a well-lit gas station and reputable hotel chain. It seemed smart to pull over, stay the night, fix the harness in the morning and get back to driving.
The next morning I woke up with the strangest feeling, a sense that my stuff was being taken. I can’t quite describe it. But I said a short prayer, in a sleepy state of mind. I got out of bed and walked down the hall, hoping to see everything right where I left it, dismissing the thoughts I’d had just moments ago. I peered out the second floor window at the end of the hall only to have my worst fears confirmed.
Everything was gone: the truck, the trailer and the wiring harness in between.
The manager and I quickly reviewed the security tape, and at 5:50 am, there it was. Driving away. Only the driver was not me.
I was devastated. Immediate feelings of rage and violation came over me. How could this happen? I couldn’t help but wonder about the thieves. Were they reading my journals? Snooping through the many photos and letters from loved ones? Will the guns that were handed down by my Father and Grandfather now be used to hurt people?
I thought about all the things that were now gone; guitars and golf clubs, tools, dive gear, tents, and camping gear. My life was in that trailer.
Then the words of Jesus came to mind.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart is also." (Matthew 6:19)
Jesus was onto something. Now I am too.
I think about these words as I file the insurance claims and evaluate what’s worth replacing. I’m beginning to realize that, as it turns out, I can live without most of it. Oddly enough, my loss of stuff led to a gain of peace.