In second grade, my teacher said I seemed to enjoy creative writing. In fourth grade, I got a B in writing (depressing news for a blogger.) I know this, because I just finished going through my grade school keepsake album. That is where I also came to the conclusion that I was a homely child, although Matt assures me the 1970s were homely years for everyone.
I just spent three days cleaning out the crawlspace and going through boxes. We took four plastic bins of old college stuff to the dump, and another bin is awaiting the same fate. (I’m sorry, if you were hoping to borrow my notes on English linguistics and the details of bilabial fricatives.)
I created a sizable mound for the church garage sale in August.
I gave away some stuff. (We thought maybe, since we didn’t have a VHS player, that keeping two boxes of VHS tapes was senseless.)
Then I went through a Rubbermaid of keepsakes my mom had given to me, because she was cleaning out her spidery places, too. I came across certificate after impressive certificate from my childhood and teen years.
You might want to know that I was awarded a certificate for spelling and for making it into the next swimming level. I was awarded a certificate for passing hunter’s education and for being in National Honor Society, and for being on the Vice President’s Honor Roll in college. I got a certificate for being an Acteens National Advisory Panelist and for the Presidential Fitness Award. (How in the world did I manage getting a fitness award?)
I had a lot of time to think about all this stuff I had kept, while I was stooped at an uncomfortable angle, in the deep bowels of our home. (Take that descriptive language, fourth grade teacher.)
All those awards and honors and certificates?
I threw away 97.3% of them.
Wow did it feel good to get rid of so much stuff. Boxes and boxes of possessions that were taking up space and that I was always moving to get to other things I needed.
Jesus’ words came to my mind:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37 NIV)
Rubbermaids filled with things from our past take up a lot of room, and I would like to argue that they take up room in our minds. We’re always thinking about how they need to be stored, how we need to organize them, and how we need to go through them. For months the crawlspace had been weighing on my mind.
Possessions require management, and management requires a mental process.
If I am supposed to love the Lord my God with all my mind, doesn’t it make sense that the less I possess, the more room I have in my thoughts for the Lord?
So is your mountain of stuff consuming more of your thoughts than necessary? Could you get rid of a ton of boxes full of unnecessary stuff and free some brain space, for the sake of your relationship with God?
Time to face the spiders.