5.27.2014

weighed down



For those of you who live anywhere but the midwest, it may feel a bit late in the year for spring cleaning. But here in Minnesota, spring just arrived last week! The urge has finally arrived to scrub, vacuum, clean out, and purge everything we own. 

The desire to release my possessions this year is especially strong. Maybe it's my life-long desire to live on a tiny little boat coming to the surface, but I'm feeling weighed down by the amount of superfluous things my family owns. I want to push it all overboard from the metaphorical boat into the metaphorical ocean.

I keep getting stuck on Matthew 6:19-33. Especially verse 33.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.Do Not Worry25 “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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 
Nothing wrong with having possessions. It's when those possessions are your focus that they become a problem. For me personally, when things are taking up space in my drawers and cabinets, they are also occupying space in my mind. When I clear away the distractions, the unimportant, the superfluous, I can focus more clearly on what is important. Seek first his kingdom.

I want to feel like I can travel this earth lightly. I want to be free from my possessions. I don't want the be the rich man who went away from Jesus sad because he could not bear to part with his possessions to follow Jesus.

The other impetus for The Great Release of Stuff and Things is the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley and William D Denko. I borrowed this book from the library a few weeks ago and finally got around to reading it this weekend. As I expected, the millionaires are the ones leading the frugal, disciplined, low key lives, while those with the lower net worths are the ones trying to look rich by the name brand luxuries they buy.

Now, while I'm working on not storing up treasures on earth, I'm certainly not opposed to paying off my debt and saving for retirement.

So it's time to simplify, and repeat to myself these two mantras every time I get the urge to spend money on something I don't need:

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

and

I have everything I require and more. 

Anyone else looking to live the simple life?

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