Today’s Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6-10
This week, I figured out that in the last 14 years, I have moved 11 times! Each time that I move, it’s a challenge to figure out which things are essential for me to keep and which things I can let go of – what do I no longer need (or maybe never needed in the first place)? I end up donating lots of items, but it seems that as soon as I make space, I fill it with new things again! Have you ever had this feeling?
In an article for Psychology Today, Amy Morin writes, “Here’s why simplifying your life is important — everything in your life takes up space. Whether it’s mental space, physical space, or calendar space, you only have so much room. Everything you own… costs you something. And when you have an abundance of stuff, it costs you a lot.” I’ve been reflecting on this for about two weeks now and each night when I go home, I find my space feeling more cluttered. I am taking up so much space with things I don’t need and I’ve been wondering how my life might be different if I worked to be content with little. How might I be a better disciple? A better friend? A better pastor? What new passions might spring forth if I only made the space?
In Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, he describes a life of simplicity as “a life of joyful unconcern for possessions.” For me, this joyful unconcern cannot be separated from trust. I have to trust that I will be taken care of, even if I don’t keep extra stuff “just in case.” It is for this simple life that I am striving, so I have committed to downsizing. Within the next two weeks, I plan to fill and donate at least four boxes of stuff – not just junk that’s collecting dust, but also stuff that makes me feel comfortable and happy, but isn’t essential. I pray that through simplifying, I learn to rely more on God and less on possessions for peace.
The things you own end up owning you. – Joshua Fields Millburn