Note: Today’s post is a guest post from my sister Mary Anne. We’ve spent the last two weeks going through all the stuff at our parents’ old house and she shared this post on Facebook. I felt it was too good not to share on here (with her permission, of course). Enjoy!
STUFF. The society we live in promotes material objects as the route to happiness. I beg to differ… majorly. In the past two weeks of essentially emptying an entire household of its contents (helping my Dad move into his new wife’s house and appropriately dealing with all but the few things he took with him), I have done a lot of thinking about STUFF.
As I have sold, given away, thrown away, and boxed up (minimally) STUFF, I’ve felt a sweet and solemn purging of my soul. It’s as if the more I snip the strings that are tying me to possessions, the more I can run and jump and be the person God’s calling me to be. I felt him remind me the other day, as I was looking through old boxes of keepsakes my mom hauled from house to house over the years, that I have a choice before me: I can choose the STUFF and be tied to it, wasting money, opportunity, and emotion that I can’t afford to waste, or I can choose to give it up and embrace a freedom to go wherever God calls, to minister to people through whatever lifestyle God requires, and to just not have the distraction of STUFF taking up a portion of my life that could be better used.
It’s certainly challenging, and presents some bittersweet and straight-up hard decisions, but there is an emotional and physical liberty when life is whittled down to the “basics.” There is much we want, but very little that we actually need. ” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Mt 6.19-21
I know for the rest of my life I will be constantly trying to downsize my STUFF. Yes, I keep some sentimental letters and trinkets and such, but just a few; I want to actually USE what I own and not just store it. The most important STUFF in life is people. Love God, love your neighbor. He didn’t add a third commandment: “Love your STUFF.”
“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Ac 20.24.
Remember what matters.