I've been starting to think a lot about the reality of MOVING TO ZAMBIA and the logistics of getting all my stuff over there lately. I've got a lot of stuff. I tend to be one of the worst stuff hoarders there is--a sentimental, resourceful packrat. If I spent money on it, I'll hang onto it. If it reminds me of something I enjoyed when I was 10, I've still got it. In my 23 years of life, that translates to a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is not near as indispensable as I once thought it was. I've found myself thinking a lot more before buying things because of the ramifications of having to store it or ship it overseas somehow.
I work in a store with a lot of beautiful home decorator stuff. Yet when I'm tempted to buy it as I get off work, I keep asking myself, is it really necessary? Do I really need that? How would I get it overseas? Is that a good use of my limited resources? And most of the time, the answer is no. That doesn't mean I'm not going to take anything with me to make my house into home--after all, this will be my first home of my very own and I can't wait to set it up and make it mine. As I have gotten older I have also come to understand that often it isn't that you do something, but how you do it that matters. So, I will take my teapot and teacups, some pretty things, and tools to be a gracious hostess to the guests I can't wait to welcome into my home. However, it doesn't take that much to entertain gracefully, and there is no reason for me to store up excess 'treasure' here on earth and tie myself down with possessions. I've tried to focus on things that will be of more value--books, music that I can use teaching and things like that. Sometimes its hard to bypass a pretty thing that I wouldn't think twice about if I was setting up an apartment, but I would far rather do without and so better glorify my Father than to satisfy myself overmuch with things of this earth.
I cleaned out my closet last night and threw out a lot of stuff that I had been holding onto for years. If felt so liberating to get ride of the physical weight of my possessions--I've even been 'cleaning' up my computer and deleting a lot of cyber trash that I don't need to keep around. Some things were harder to throw out than others--many memories and some dreams tumbled into the trashcan last night and I felt some sorrow at their passing. There are just some things I won't need anymore or don't have any realistic time to do. I also was sad that I had wasted to much time and money on some of these things. I can remember being told when I was younger that I would no longer value some of the toys and things I sought after as a child and I remember thinking that there was no way that I would ever be sorry I bought whatever it was that I wanted at the moment. However, going through all the things I saved often merely just to say I had it or because I paid for it, I wished I had had the maturity to not buy some of those things or at the very least to let them go before now.
I still have a lot of stuff and I still have a lot of stuff to go through. However, I hope this is a way that my Father is helping to ready my heart and help me loose my materialistic tendencies. Am I a cured hoarder? Far from it! However, I hope that I am perhaps finally learning a lesson I have long been in need of, and that I am gaining a little maturity in the area of 'stuff.'
"But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Luke 12:31 and 34
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal: for where you treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:19-21
"Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed." -I Timothy 6:18-19