I’ve been thinking about the clutter of my life…the things that are around me that I bought or gathered to make life easier. It seems to have actually made my life harder!
How is it possible that things accumulated over time can actually make life harder? It’s the clutter of things that most of us try to maintain, that most of us really enjoy, and yet I’m realizing that my “stuff” has become my burden as well…all the stuff I have gathered now has taken over certain areas of my life.
This week, a few of us at work talked about the desire to “have things”. Not just about the desire to have things but to have that which we never use. There are so many things that I wanted and thought I needed only to realize that I have rarely used that item I coveted. With the accumulation of all those things we find life harder, more difficult. I thought about it this morning and realized I have boxes in my garage that haven’t been opened since I moved into our house 14 years ago! Why do I keep this stuff? What’s in those boxes? What stuff is hiding there for me to discover anew?
All this to think about the challenge of our discussion…the challenge to “deaccumulate” our lives. I wonder how much of the stuff of my life I could actually do without? I wonder how many things I really “need”?
I thought about the fact that you can tell what’s important to a person by what they do when they know they are going to die. As we close in on Easter and spend a few days reflecting on what Jesus did, I wondered, what is it that Jesus did before he entered Jerusalem during His last week? He knew that He was going to die and one key story that is told in the Gospels, right before Jesus declares to the disciples that He is heading to Jerusalem, is the story of the Rich Young Ruler.
Luke 18:18 The rich ruler asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds by telling him he must keep the commandments. The rich ruler tells Jesus he has kept them all. Then Jesus says, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Then the rich ruler became sad because he was so rich and did not want to let go of his material possessions.
Jesus was making His preparations to give up everything for you and I on the cross. Jesus also wants us to give Him everything. He wants us to give Him total control of our life. If He asks you, are you willing to give up all that you have for Jesus?
Jesus typically pushes us out of our comfort zone.
For most us, our comfort is found in how much money we have. If it’s not money then it is related to money, like possessions or other things money can buy. Are you willing to give God your possessions? What about your title at work? What about your dream to be a famous musician, sports star, investor, writer, etc.? Are you willing to give God a percentage of your money? Are you willing to give up your success? Are you willing to give God your retirement funds?
Jesus invited 12 men to leave everything and follow Him. That same call is given to each of us today.
What “should” we let go of today? What “can” we let go of? What “can” we live without?
I can’t answer for you… but I know my life (both physically and spiritually) needs a thorough Spring Cleaning. I need to get rid of the “stuff” that keeps me from being what God wants me to be.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:23-24