17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. ~Mark 10:17-22
When I think about what Krista said on living a life worthy of a story, I am instantly put on pause and stop to think. What kind of story am I living? My brother read that book a few years back and I remember how it totally messed with him as well– in a crazy good way. I’ve never read the book, but I think I’m going to add it to my summer reading list! It’s hard to live life daring… Willing to really let go and free fall for a life that’s truly fulfilling.
You know what hangs me up? Honestly?
Disgusting, I know. *Sigh*
Just like the man in the story above, I can so easily get sidetracked from the good life by my STUFF. Stuff! Can you believe that? It’s only STUFF, but it clouds my view and literally blocks my vision at times. Stuff in and of itself isn’t bad, though. It’s when I choose my stuff over the good, plentiful, joyful, generous life that He’s calling me to that it becomes a hindrance. What does that verse say? “Let us throw off all that hinders…” (Heb 12:1)
I’m sure the man wasn’t a hoarder. I’m sure it wasn’t that he just had a bunch of clutter and boxes that required a huge garage sale to get rid of it all. The bible said he was wealthy. Most likely, he owned property and a business or two, along with all the ritz and glamour that a wealthy lifestyle allowed for. I’m hardly wealthy and I still have a hard time letting go of my things.
What’s crazy, though, is I tend to focus on what I’m getting rid of, not what awaits me. Just like the man in the story who went away sad, I cringe at the thought of purging my stuff. What if I need that extra frying pan/coffee maker/candle/bowl/decorative pillow/etc…?
Do I need it more than the good life? Please smack me if I even pause to think about it! His word promises more than my stuff can even begin to offer.
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” ~Mark 10:29-31
After reading that, my boxes of junk seem like just– JUNK.
One of the happiest people I know is a single man who until recently lived in a detached room of a family home with a bathroom and a mini fridge. He now rents a room in a unit with a kitchen! By the world’s standards, he doesn’t have much. But to the people who know him, he has everything. He’s a modern day Paul and his joy is contagious! How encouraging he is to David and me. In six months, our lease will be up on our beautiful home. The room that houses all our just-in-case STUFF? We won’t have it anymore. Most likely, we’ll be moving to something much, much smaller (hopefully our rent will be much smaller too :)). Unless we want to live among boxes of clutter, we’re going to have to seriously purge.
I’m proud of the story David and I are living together and the adventure we’re on. I want to continue it and not get held up by my STUFF. Over the next six months as we prepare for a significant downsize (most likely) and another move (same area, just different home), I pray I would remember the second half of the story. I don’t want to go away sad, or limit our adventure because I’m too attached to my things to live the free life.
Next week I’ll show you around this cute, old house of ours and share my two-step approach to organizing and purging my stuff. Thanks for reading!