What is your most valued possession? Is its value more sentimental with strong emotional ties, or is it based on what you could sell it for to someone else? We all have things that we grown to love, to use, to show off to friends, and maybe to give away to someone, someday. I have a cousin who started an online group where we post good quality things that we have used. I posted about a chainsaw I got from my dad that almost always starts and has cut through hundreds of trees and logs. I have a shopvac I paid $5 for 15 years ago that is still sucking up everything and anything. The list could go on and on…favorite tools, knives, shoes, vehicles, etc. We all appreciate things that work well and last for decades, but eventually everything wears out, even us. The one thing worse than something that works for a few uses and breaks is something of excellent quality that never gets used. You probably have tools or equipment from hobbies you used to do, but no longer have time for. Or something so nice that you don’t want to use it or ‘ruin it’. Do these things define who we are, or are we more than that? If you’ve ever been to an estate sale, you realize you can measure a life by what everything they owned sold for when they died. But we are more than that, right?
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Luke 12:22-23
There has been a growing movement over the past decade, and longer, toward minimalism, both in the things we own and in how we spend our time. It takes on several terms from decluttering, to meaningfulness, downsizing, etc, but at its core says most of us don’t need as much stuff as we have. If you are like me, I’m sure there are things you can get rid of that will make your life more manageable, or less stressful. It may be as simple as cleaning out the storage areas of your home and creating more space in which to live. It may be more dramatic and influence your diet, the clothes you have and wear, and limit what new things you bring into your home as well. This trend toward minimizing worldly possessions has been around for centuries and in many monastic cultures. The more things we have, the more we spend time taking care of and dealing with them instead of engaging with other priorities. It begs the question, do you own your possessions, or do they own you?
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14
So, do things in your life keep you from other things that are more important? Do you spend more time on your hobbies, dealing with cleaning and taking care of things than dealing and taking care of people? Have you ever felt God calling you to get rid of things in your life to make more room for relationships with Him and other people? Take some time in prayer and ask. Maybe he is not asking you to get rid of all the furniture in your living room, but He may be calling you to make more room and time in your life for the things that matter more. If you had to choose, would you keep everything, or give it all up to make Christ your everything?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:31-33
Yours in Christ,