Last Sunday my son and I went to help a friend move out of her house. Mostly I just kept moving around trying to look busy because I’m really bad at packing. (How is it that some people have this gift for sweeping into a room and quickly doing what needs to be done? I’m not one of those people.)
My son and I were talking on the way home about how moving someone else made us want to go home and get rid of a bunch of stuff. My friend didn’t have that much, but when you’re carrying box after box, you can’t help but ask the question, Why do we have so much stuff?
Friends of mine just moved to Taiwan as missionaries, and they wrote this week about how right now they only have what is in their suitcases plus a few plastic chairs that someone brought them. Until their furniture arrives, they say God is teaching them about what they really need to live on.
In Hebrews 11:13 we read that people of great faith “admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
They knew they were getting ready to move.
And when you’re moving, you look at your stuff differently.
My husband just got back from performing his uncle’s funeral, so it is even more on my mind that life passes quickly. I was thinking that now my uncle’s sisters and children will need to sort out his things. All the stuff stays behind. I wonder, if I were to die to today, if people would know by my stuff that I considered myself a stranger on this earth and not a permanent resident.
What is important here? What should I care about today, while God has given me breath?
So don’t tell my husband, because he’ll feel he has to batten down the hatches, but I am in “get rid of it” mode. (As it is, he already tells people that if he doesn’t keep moving, he knows he’ll end up at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop.)
It seems to me that the Amish own what is useful. When I picture their homes I think of sturdy items that get used every day, not a house full of “décor.” I wonder, if an Amish family moves, do they look at boxes and ask, Why do I own this?
What do we really need to live?