“He Who Dies with the Most Stuff Wins,” said the bumper sticker on a fancy pickup truck towing a sleek pair of jet skis and a pair of shiny motorcycles in the truck bed. Wins what? is the salient question, I suppose. But before I get all high and mighty and judgmental on that F-150-driving gent, a personal story. A confession, really. Since 2012, my wife and I have moved six times (for work-related reasons). If you want to find out how much useless junk you’ve accumulated, make a move in late middle-age. Then do it again. And again. And a couple more times. So. Much. Stuff. But the real lesson took hold on the third move. For five months, we lived in a quite small, three-room apartment while we looked for permanent accommodations. At least 85% of our belongings went into storage. The shocker: we didn’t miss it. Any of it. Okay—we missed having a couple of bowls that inadvertently got packed away. Bowls. Otherwise, it was breathtaking how little we actually needed and used.
As I write these words, news has just arrived of the death of a long-time professional friend and colleague, several years younger than me. He was a kind and compassionate man who managed to leave the world in better shape than he found it. As his friends and family and spouse collectively grieved and honored him (on social media, as we now do), he was praised as a winner for his leadership and how he treated others. Not a single mention of his stuff.
Jesus reminds us that life does not consist of an abundance of stuff but in being rich toward God. I need to work on that, but first I must answer the front door. The Amazon delivery guy is here.
How much of my life have I committed to accumulating more stuff instead of investing in what really matters?
God, forgive me for being consumed with consuming. Even at the risk of yet another move, keep me focused on what matters. Amen.