I moved out of my parent’s house thirty-five years ago into my first apartment, full of dreams and very light on furnishings. Void of most modern luxuries and content with garage sale finds, I was extremely happy in the quiet, sparse environment I chose to call home.
Now decades later as my children find their wings, I embark on new dreams, but am now very heavy on furnishings and well…stuff. When I say heavy, I mean HEAVY. Not hoarder heavy in American standards, yet mind boggling heavy and wondering where to start the purge. In fact, I’m wondering if it multiplied on its own. Of course I know to take full responsibility in admitting I purchased all of it, but perhaps that fantasy eases my mind a bit.
It is Springtime, so garage sales, yard sales, and flea markets abound. Perfect timing to whittle away at the things I once held dear-whether a thoughtful gift, a useful gadget, or something pretty to look at or wear. Some items have sentimental value and those are set aside for safe keeping. Other things have outgrown their season of time and get tossed into a pile to be sorted for sale. However, most stuff is just that…stuff, and it does not bring more or less happiness in itself. Though it may illicit certain feelings and trigger memories, it is not the essence of joy.
During those thirty-five years, I moved a total of eleven times, faithfully carrying the ever mounting piles of so-called treasures. Two moves were corporate moves, so the moving company took care of all of the packing and placing things in our new home. Feeling somewhat spoiled from this grand treatment, one does not invoke the necessity of expelling any excess, so the surplus continued to mound. Moving on my own dime is definitely more of a motivator to take a second look at why I have been inclined to save every Lego, Lincoln Log, and Precious Moments figurine. I begin to shift my thinking and realize that all of the accumulating wares surely may give someone else a sense of usefulness as well, if not a smile. So my garage is bursting with goods ready for pricing tags and the promise of cooperative weather and potential buyers.
In this lesson of keeping and tossing, I am reminded that although we truly require very little to sustain us in life or provide us with benefit, there is something that merits storing. This storing has eternal gain and getting more and more of it is greatly encouraged. It is not to be tossed or discarded. I am referring to the stores spoken in Psalm 119:11 ESV which states, “I have stored up your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Think of it…how many tragedies, hurtful words, ugly behaviors, regrets, and missed opportunities could have been avoided if God’s Word hidden in our hearts spoke louder that the sin that enticed and drew us away from all good sense? Sin is not just against our loved ones, enemies, neighbors, friends, or even ourselves. When we sin, we oppose God. In reality, we grieve Him until we humble ourselves, confess the sin, and change, because sin separates us from God, and He dearly desires to be close to us. God’s Word is not a restrictive set of laws and rules, rather a letter of love, hope, grace, mercy, and guidance into His best for us. The perfect instruction manual contains every key to success. And it is never stale nor keeps the reader from a revealing of sound truth. The Word will have you hungering for more; therefore store as much in your heart as it can possibly contain.
Although parting with an overabundance of material goods can be an overwhelming task, weeding through and letting go proves cathartic. Keep what is precious and useful. Toss what is nonessential. Always remember, though, God’s Word is the DEFINITE KEEPER. Stores of it in your heart will multiply for your good and for the good of others.