I have had some revelations today. They aren’t new to me nor are they groundbreaking, but rather a further reminder of what is really important in life. It is a gorgeous autumn day in Central Minnesota today. As I type this entry, it is 70*, blue skies, and, best of all, no humidity. I love nature, especially if I can find a great hiking area. A lake or river to sit by serenely is always welcomed as well. Today, though, I am not spending any time outside even though this type of day is perfect for me. Hiking is out of the question for me anyway. It is difficult to hike without the complete use of both legs.
Today I am forcing myself to tackle the mess that we call our downstairs. Specifically, yesterday and today, I am working on going through the room of our younger son. He is now engaged and living several states away. His room, though, still has SO MUCH STUFF! Papers that probably cost 2,657 trees their lives, a stack of three ring binders that could stock a complete shelf at Walmart, clothes hanging in the closet and sitting on the floor, childhood toys, and various memorabilia from high school and college including certificates, sheet music, track shoes, a monster radio controlled Hummer toy, and even a scepter! (He was a homecoming king nominee) I want to be ruthless and throw things away, but the emotions as I sift through years of memories are unbelievable. Each “thing” brings a picture to mind and I wrestle, knowing that he will most likely never inhabit this room again. The flip side of that is the thought that no one person needs THIS MUCH STUFF! And this is just one bedroom within a five bedroom house.
Can we say, “Overwhelmed”??
As I take breaks from the physically exhausting (for me) and emotionally taxing chore that is forefront in my mind lately, I reflect on the things we here in America fill our lives with. While none of these are necessarily sinful (at least not in our home) they do represent several things. They definitely tell a story of how we have spent our money and in a way, they also represent our parenting style. What I’m learning as I get old(er), though, is that things can be forgotten. I doubt our son even knows all that is in his room. Things also take our time and focus off of other, more important matters.
IT is so easy to fall in love with this world. I have spent many years seeking to gather all the “stuff” I could so I could be like others in my life–drive a nice vehicle, wear name brand clothes, eat out most nights for dinner, buy my kids the things they want but do not necessarily need–all things even many of my Christian friends around me do. How often have I heard the lament from my one of my kids that someone’s parent bought THEM a car…why won’t you buy me one? I know if I could I would buy a nicer one than someone else had just so they would look as good as others, but what would that be teaching them? To fall in love with the things of this world is the lesson derived from such a lifestyle. When we die or Christ returns, whichever comes first, those things will be left behind for the looters to take. They will not be necessary in our real home. Perhaps this is why God sends trials and troubles into our lives…to keep us from falling in love with this temporary dwelling. So, while I am here, I will try to enjoy the gifts given to me…those that cost money as well as those that are free from God–birds, waterfalls, flowers, growing vegetables, rain, sun–and remember that even better things await me when I reach my final destination.