Letting Go of Stuff
People are more than things! If we can agree on that then we may have insight into today's scripture readings. All of our readings stress that there is more to life then the accumulation of things. We should use what we need, enjoy what we have, but not be possessed by them. But most people have a tendency to sometimes focus more on earthly possessions than people, and even a fulfilled life itself. St. Paul offers advice where he says that:"...if you were raised with Christ, seek what is above." His meaning is that when we see like Christ, we will have the right priorities. That's easier said than done, but it is an attainable goal for which to seek. But, let's be honest we all need things to live a proper life. Absolutely! But when possessions take over our attention, control our motivations, or distract us from living a happy life, watch out!
Jesus gives us this counsel today: "Take guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." That is true if we don't prioritize wealth, power, and possessions, over the Kingdom of God. Our scriptures are a challenge to consider how we use things and the value we place on "stuff". Perhaps Jesus is asking us to take inventory of our lives and if there are things that are cluttering them, causing us to be distracted, to be selfish rather than charitable, and greedy as opposed to being caring. More and more people say that they are 'downsizing" by getting rid of furniture, jewelry, and extra watch, fancy dishes, used but wearable clothing, and items that they have more than one of. For Christians perhaps this is good as long as it makes space available to enjoy the simpler pleasures of life. I've experienced that when we clear away unnecessary things in our lives, that we can appreciate the more important things in life.
Do you think that with less, you might be more able to express our faith and trust in God? I've known many a person who has few possessions but is rich in humor, generosity, happiness, and other blessings. With less, we just might be having the more important things to share. Who knows? Try it and see.