“are we moving?” my wife asked.
boxes filled our living room. boxes full of books, dvds, clothes, dishes, and trinkets. we had so much stuff crowding our living room that it sure did feel like we were packing to move.
but no. we weren’t moving. not yet anyway. we were just cleaning out the closets, cabinets, and shelves of our house in preparation for a yard sale. those places filled with stuff we accumulated over four years of marriage and longer that we just had no use for anymore.
it felt good, too. cleansing, like a long, hot shower. relieving, like getting a massage. selling unnecessary things, unloading the unnecessary junk from your life, is liberating.
it’s not new to say we buy way too much stuff in this country; that we consume way more than we need. but just because it’s cliche doesn’t make it any less true.
there’s a reason so many of us who have spent our lives getting everything we’ve always wanted are often unhappy, frustrated, and restless.
though our shelves are filled with trinkets, knickknacks and souvenirs, our lives are empty.
again, i know this is nothing new. but preparing for our recent yard sale has it on my mind.
for the past few years now, i’ve been on a loosely defined mission to free myself from stuff.
i guess you could say, i’m a recovering materialist.
my whole life i’ve gotten everything i’ve always wanted and now i’m trying to get rid of it all.
our stuff not only fills the spaces in our homes, but it fills the spaces in our hearts, as well. much of what i have purchased has had an emotional catalyst.
since we have these emotional attachments to our possessions, it can make it downright difficult to part with them.
but when our hearts are attached to the things in our home, we leave little room for much else.
by breaking free of the shackles of stuff, we can create room in our lives and hearts for stuff that matters: family, friends, experiences, god. not to sound preachy but constantly surrounding ourselves with trinkets, knickknacks, souvenirs, and artifacts can become a form of idolatry and worship.
but no thing will ever ease our pain or heal our ailments or fix our weaknesses.
only god can do all those things.
nicole and i still have plenty of stuff, but it’s things that, although we don’t need, provide us with some kind of value or enjoyment.
honestly, i think we’re at a point where we could justify getting rid of everything in our house. but we choose not to because we find value in the things we possess.
our things no longer own us.