We recently packed up and moved all of our stuff … which was way too much… after 14+ years of living in the same place. You see, we went from a house with a full basement to the same size house without a basement… essentially cutting our space in half. We knew we had too much stuff… we looked forward to having a great opportunity to get rid of it… so we started out with much enthusiasm and determination!
After 6+ loads to The Restore, 10+ loads to Goodwill, tons of stuff bequeathed to our friends and family, and a huge pile taken away by our friendly trash people, all that enthusiasm and determination was gone! The good news was we got to know the people at the donation places pretty well and hopefully helped other people by giving away some pretty good stuff… and in many ways it was a little freeing. But I’m really kidding myself… it was painful and, I have to admit, a little shameful. But the really sad part was… there was still too much stuff and no more time to get rid of it. So, we grudgingly packed it and shipped it off to Killeen, Texas.
Here’s the real learning for me though… that stuff had and still has a hold on me. It grips me and affects my ability to live a simpler, more winsome life. If you really think about it, what purpose is there in keeping the 10,000 photos… good and bad (Remember the old camera technology?)… or the baby clothes that my parents had… or the craft I made in 3rd grade… or the participation trophy my kid earned in Little League… or old text books and school papers? We kept asking ourselves… is anybody going to look at or want these in 20 years… nobody has taken them out of the box in 25 years!!! It makes me want to be even more purposeful about what I have, what I buy, and what I keep. But this stuff has a hold on me. If I’m honest, my identity is even tied up in some of the stuff. So what do I do? I put the stuff I couldn’t part with up in the attic and will probably look at it the next time I have to move or downsize. It’s not the way to go, but I don’t have any better answers at this time.
Do you have anything that has a hold on you? How freeing would it be if it didn’t?
That’s the type of priorities Jesus talks about in His Word in the book of Matthew…
Matthew 6:19-20 “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.
Think about it… A simpler way of living. Dependent on Him for all things. A light load to carry. Unencumbered living to follow Him. Sounds pretty nice… I’ll keep working on it!
Do you have too much stuff? What has a hold on you? Donate, gift, or trash all that extra stuff… it’s worth it!