PLEASE bear with me as I give you a short, but riveting accounting lecture. In the exciting world of accounting, assets are~
property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.
Assets are subdivided into tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are those that have physical form--brick & mortar, land, machinery, furniture. You can put your hands on them and easily determine their value.
An intangible asset is an asset that is not physical in nature. Corporate intellectual property, including items such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and business methodologies, are intangible assets, as are goodwill and brand recognition. You cannot put your hands on these--they seem to be mysterious forms of supernatural nature, and their value is difficult to determine.
NOW that I have titillated you with that exciting information--let me get on to the nuts and bolts of today's topic---
Our lives are filled with the tangibles of life---our homes, our furniture, our vehicles, our STUFF. We all tend to haul around a boat load of stuff in various shapes, forms and sizes. All of these things have monetary value. The old joke is you can't take it with you and there are no U-Hauls behind the hearse, but we still insist upon accumulating great stacks of stuff. Some of us become so obsessed with accumulating, we border upon the label of hoarder!. We are obsessed with our stuff and cannot bear the thought of letting it go.
Recently I have visited with two different friends and we talked over what is going to happen to all their stuff when they are gone? It is precious and dear to them, but I fear those things we have spent a lifetime accumulating will bear little or no value to those who are left to "clean out our houses". Sadly we have spent a great deal of time and money collecting things which have little or no value to those who inherit our treasure troves. One man's treasure is truly another's man junk.
Those treasures are systematically dismantled, sold off, given to the Salvation Army, and hauled to the garbage heap when we are no longer present to proclaim their value. It is ALL truly just stuff!
Then there are the intangibles of life. Those things which have no physical form but have the greatest of intrinsic value. The greatest treasure--that which is of untold value--but cost us nothing in fiscal terms, but a great deal in time and effort. Those intangibles such as integrity, character, love, faithfulness, kindness, dependability are held in high esteem and at the highest of values.
I have never attended a funeral where the balance sheet was the topic of the eulogy. Instead, the dearly departed is remembered for the intangibles of his life. How well he loved his family, his high moral character--honesty-generosity-faithfulness. We remember those who have gone on before not for their great wealth or their dire poverty---we remember them for how well they lived life and the mark they left upon this terrestrial ball. Our legacy is perhaps one of the greatest intangibles of all. Not something we inhabit or possess, but instead the mark we leave upon this world. Our intangible legacy is the only thing which has eternal consequence.
Without a doubt the most valuable intangible I have is my faith. You cannot touch it--it has no form--it is without value, but is of greatest value. My relationship with God is of a mysterious nature, yet it is the tangible evidence of His very existence. I know His presence-see His handiwork-feel His love and none of this can be touched--put in a box--nor is it visible to the human eye. It is only known--only visible--always felt in the deep inner regions of my very heart and soul. God is real--because I know Him for who He is. My love for him is the intangible evidence of His tangible presence as noted in His creation all around us. What a great asset---what could I possibly have of more worth--what a beautiful treasure of greatest value - the sure and certain knowledge God is with us.
Whom have I in heaven but thee?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever,
Psalms 73: 25-26