"You won't relent until You have it allMy heart is Yours You won't relent until You have it all My heart is Yours
Come be the fire inside of me Come be the flame upon my heart Come be the fire inside of me Until You and I are One."
I've been reading Jen Hatmaker's book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, and it has been doing a number on my heart. I've been on this simplifying journey for a little while now, and I felt like I had done a decent job of going through my things and getting rid of (or setting aside until I could take a trip to drop off) things that I don't use or need.
Little did I know, I was going to be challenged to do more. I still have far more than I need or even want. I still am surrounded by a mountain of evidence of having bought into my consumer-driven culture. I still live in a place of abundance and extravagance. I still pride myself on filling one or two garbage bags with my second-hand cast-offs all the while ignoring the shelves, drawers, and closets full of things I barely touched in the last six months. As my eyes are being opened to my selfishness, my heart is breaking, and the kind of person I want to be is becoming clearer.
Giving away my ratty leftovers is no longer enough. Scheduling a pickup or quickly dropping things off in a drive-through at the local thrift store isn't going to satisfy me any longer. I am being called to more. I have so far to go.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:19-20
How many times have I read those words and told myself the rewards of Heaven far surpass the trinkets of this world? How many times have I still labored to get the next best thing that will be cast aside shortly after I attain it?
I need to get to a place where I am not relying on my ability to provide for myself. I have been a packrat for years, keeping things "just in case" I might need them later on down the road. The actual number of times I've used those things should make me ashamed. I have feared that if I got rid of too many things, I would be left wanting for them, left in a state of need. As if by letting go of my material possessions, I could give away enough to enter into a state of pseudo-poverty. As if I thought the Lord wouldn't provide for all my needs, like I didn't recognize His hand in having provided me with the means to buy all this stuff in the first place, or His provision for the more meaningful things in life that I can't buy with all the money in the world (family, friends, health, security, peace, love, joy, eternal security in Heaven with Him, to name only a few).
I'm done buying into the lie that I need more and more and more stuff to make me happy, to make me feel secure, to make me feel accomplished for having been able to provide for all of my needs, for having the forethought to stockpile things for my potential (and mostly superficial) future needs. I am choosing today to be more mindful of the things I spend my money on and spend my time doing. I will take a more honest, critical look at the things I've been holding onto and release more of them from my possession so that others (who actually need them) can have them and make use of them.
Jesus, You are all I need. I have been so incredibly blessed with everything in my life, but it's not mine to hold onto. It all belongs to You. Show me how to best use it all.
This will begin a series of posts dedicated to more specific areas of life, areas that Jen covered in her book and/or areas that others have inspired me to look at in greater detail as I endeavor to take a more critical look at where I need to change some habits in order to become a better manager of everything I've been given.