Sunday, September 27, 2009

I don't get it

In today's society, it seems, that success is measured by your "stuff". House, car, entertainment equipment, the vacations you take, the kind of computer you's all your "stuff". This is no new concept, right? He who has the most stuff wins, or something like that.

Even biblically speaking, God "blessed" certain people with great wealth. Take Abraham, for example. He had oodles of "stuff". Job, got stuff, it was taken away, but he got more...thus...God blessed Him through his faithfulness.

But here's something. We have to take care of our "stuff", yeah? Because God gave it to us, so we must now care for that which He has trusted us with. So, you buy more stuff that you need to take care of the stuff. Ride on lawn mower, storage boxes, the latest cleaning equipment guaranteed to make your life simpler, freezer dinners microwaveable in 5 minutes flat so you'll have time to enjoy your "stuff". At some point you realize that you are now a slave to your "stuff". You work all day to afford it and keep it, you arrange your time to enjoy it, you spend your money and energy maintaining it. When, then, do you serve the Lord? "Sorry, I can't help with this ministry because my car needs washing/house needs cleaning/ipod needs uploading/blog needs updating, plus I just don't have the extra cash."

Stuff can be a burden, my friends. And we're encouraging our children by filling their lives with "stuff" too. If we get rid of our stuff, we feel like we're refusing a blessing. Or maybe we know it's not really a blessing, but a choice we made and now we feel we can't go back. Some of us may even live very frugally and simply, but still feel unable to find time for the work of the Lord, or even for a relationship with God. Could stuff be a false God? Oh yeah. Do we manage to convince ourselves that we're being wise by storing stuff? You bet.

The next time I walk into some Super-Mega-Store and am tempted by all the stuff I just have to have, I want to be reminded of the chaos of my home and the clutter that is now my life, and of the opportunities I have missed to help others because I was too busy with my "stuff". How many Target receipts must I collect before the wisdom of what really matters to God seeps into my brain. Because it sure as heck ain't gonna hit me through a new and improved Swiffer or the latest Blackberry model.

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