The lesson Toby taught me

“You could take all the gold that’s ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 67 feet in each direction. For what it’s worth at current gold prices, you could buy — not some — all of the farmland in the United States. Plus, you could buy 10 ExxonMobils, plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?” _Warren Buffet


In 1995 when my family and I moved to Fort Mill, SC I remember packing up unopened boxes on the moving truck that we had packed three years earlier when we moved from Simpsonville to Easley.

Then about 10 years later we moved into a new home across town and I lugged those same unopened boxes down from the attic and moved them with me to my new home. And then about ten years later I moved to Mauldin and this time…I finally threw the boxes of stuff away.

It is amazing how much effort we can put into lugging around chucks of “gold” instead of investing in things that will produce value.

Oh it may not be actual gold (it can be), but the list is long of “gold” things that clutter our lives, bank vaults, shelves, Chester drawers, garages, closets, and minds.


Valuable stuff (at least to us).

But producing no real value.

I remember as a child going to visit an Uncle and Aunt’s house and being miserable. They had a beautiful home with a lot of valuable stuff that a little rambunctious and inquisitive boy could damage. So, I always got the lecture on the way to their house, “Don’t touch a thing!”

But then one day they got a dog.

It was a mutt named Toby and he jumped up on the furniture, broke things, drooled on the kitchen tile, rolled on the carpet and brought in dirt and leaves from his outside escapades.

He changed everything.

Suddenly, my Uncle and Aunt’s house stopped being a museum and started being a home – a place where little boys could be free to be little boys. A place where a nephew loved to go visit.

I loved Toby…he taught us the difference between chunks of gold and things that add value.

The ONE THING for today:

There is a big difference between something that has value and something that produces value. 

Give most of your time and effort to cultivating that which adds value.

This is a cookie jar that is valuable to me. It comes from my mother’s childhood and is probably at least 90 years old. Mom puts it high on a shelf far away from rambunctious little great grandchildren and we mostly forget about it. Its valuable–at least to me, but it’s the precious relationships of close family and friends who gather at my parent’s home that is priceless.

6 thoughts on “The lesson Toby taught me

  1. Pastor Kemp everyone could associate with “Stuff” we all have some packed away. It is amazing how much you can collect! When the Lord calls me home I Am sure my siblings will throw it away, Maybe I should relieve them of all that work and throw it away myself being I am the oldest of seven. We can relate to your Post. Blessings


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