It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything that I felt was worth saying really. My family is slowly preparing to move. Our house is filled with boxes packed with things that aren’t necessities. Christmas dishes, cd’s, books, knick-knacks, stuff. Eventually we need to have a yard sale with the stuff that we don’t want but someone else might.
When packing it’s hard to decide what stuff is really important. I have disagreements on that with Racer. I’m a tosser. He’s a keeper. It’s often hard to compromise. In the end, who is right? Who is wrong? Both of us. Memories are important. I have heard people say things like “I wish I had (such ‘n such) of my grandmother’s.” It’s times like those that I know we should hold on to certain items. But when we are moving college textbooks that have only gotten dusty for the last ?? years, maybe it’s time to bless someone else with those. Or the collection of purses that don’t get used. Or the magazines from years ago. Or the cd’s that are never listened to. Or the VHS tapes that will be obsolete. How does one decide? How much stuff is enough and when does it become too much?
In the end, I suppose all we really need is a place to sleep, clothes to wear and food to eat. And photos. Yes the photos too. (Although I’ll leave out the ones that were given to me by an elderly church friend that involve my mouth, open, ready to receive food. Or the ones of my backside.) I think that we “need” those things too and then I remember these words:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 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. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34, NIV)
I also think about the early Christians in Acts chapter 2 and how they sold everything they had and gave to those in need. We could just sell everything and start all over. That seems wasteful doesn’t it? It also sounds refreshing. Less “stuff” equals less clutter, less to clean, less to keep track of, less to think about. Maybe it means a simpler life. A life where we are forced to rely on God instead of the entertainment that is so readily available to us. A life that is not defined by what we have, but instead, defined by who we are and what we give.
But even that doesn’t seem right. It almost sounds as if what – how much – we give should define us. That sounds like a life of works based philosophy to me. Maybe, just maybe, our lives should instead be defined by who we are in communion with Jesus Christ.
It’s not the stuff we have. It’s not the stuff we give. It’s not how we live. It’s who we are IN CHRIST. That’s really, when you keep meditating on both of the scriptures above, what it is about. It’s about living life in Christ, and Christ living His life in us.
So as we pack, maybe that’s our new standard of “keep” vs. “not-keep.” We pick up something and ask “Does this help Jesus live His life in me?” I have a feeling that so many times, I’d say no. Sure I could “justify” the item, but really, most of my stuff is just stuff.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s what this move is about for our family. Us fully relying on Christ and opening a new place for Jesus to live more fully in us.