We spent the day moving in the rain. Not exactly ideal. Because we’re in transition (when are we not in transition?), we’re staying in a friend’s office building, which I can’t quite call home. Still, I’m grateful for the space and the free internet that comes with it. Oh – and the Starbucks just two blocks away definitely helps.
I’m now surrounded by boxes that have to be sorted through and pared down to fit in my car for the drive back across the country. Even though we tend to live fairly lean in terms of material possessions, it’s amazing how much stuff we’ve accumulated since moving to DC.
The other day I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about eight small business owners who have had to make drastic cuts to cope with the prolonged downturn. I thought the prevailing message would be one of fear, but as it turns out, most expressed gratitude for the circumstances that forced them to downsize: “We’re so much happier…I feel more fulfilled…I’m totally pumped.”
In his book “Enough,” Will Samson talks about our propensity to be consumed by stuff rather than substance. The battle for contentment in a world of conspicuous consumption is not new. Three thousand years ago, King Solomon asked God for two favors: 1) remove from me falsehood and lying and 2) give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with the food that is needful for me.
So, how much is enough? Jesus first dispatched His disciples to the mission field without so much as an overnight bag or even a wallet. Once they knew they could trust Him for provision, He let them take a few essentials, but they traveled light through the world. Some preachers have argued that Jesus possessed a lot of wealth because He had a treasurer and garments so valuable the guards all wanted them. That could have been the case, but the point is, He didn’t talk about it.
What He did say over and over again was to not let your stuff get the best of you.