Moving from one location to another, hauling all of your belongings in tow, can either be a desperate cry for help or a calming perspective on what we own. I experienced both.
For some, thinking about your possessions, your material goods, well, is a thought that maybe doesn’t cross your mind much. At the most, it can be a minimal conviction. But the more you think about what you own, I think the more it convicts.
When we packed up our belongings and had them hauled from Minnesota to Michigan in two trailers, I feared our belongings would scream at me, “why did you take me?” I feared that we had too much stuff yet again, and that we had to purge even more. Did we own more than we could even handle? Did we take things along with us, that we did not even use?
As we began unpacking our boxes, it was made clear to me that indeed we did move things that we did not need, but in a way, there was this calming perspective that our process of trying to live with fewer things, had been paying off. Well, I suppose literally too, considering we had a garage sale before we left and made $500. Fairly sad because we priced everything to sell fast and were only left with 5 smaller boxes of things to donate. That just goes to show how much we had gotten rid of.
But the point I’m trying to make is that over the past few years, since attempting to try and live with only what we use, I daily walk with this conviction to be a steward over what we own. But what does that mean?
Psalm 24:1: “The Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it”.
According to Wikipedia, stewardship is defined as an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.
When I was unpacking boxes, I found myself looking at things and thinking “wow, I had no idea I kept that or had that!” Immediate conviction. Why am I hanging onto things that I do not find a high value in or know that I have, that only takes away from what I DO have? In other words, the more we have, I think the less we appreciate.
Looking around our home, I want every single item to have a purpose. If I cannot give a good reason as to why I have that certain item, well, is it worth keeping? And that reason better be within my personal convictions and values, and not a “just because.”
In a world that preaches more is better, more equals a richer life, and more means, well, more success, I am convicted to live otherwise. God has given us this world to care for, to be a steward over. If someone gives me a gift, a valuable gift, I want to care for it as if it were my own. Are we not to do the same with the gifts God has given us? I’m not saying that we need to treat material possessions as idols or with such high value that they become our world, but if I do not even know what I have in our home, how am I to be a good steward over it?
To some, the idea of living with less may be a minimal conviction. For me though, the idea of living with less is a conviction to live with minimal.
When you look around your home, do you own more than what you can be a good steward over? Are you convicted to clear out and make room for the things you do value? And in that clearing out process, appreciate more what you have, than what you don’t have?
Let me conclude once again with the verse from Psalm 24:1:
“The Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it”.
Let that verse sink deep into the inner workings of your heart. You’d be surprised at what might just happen!