I never realize how much stuff I have until it’s time to move it all. What used to fit in the back of my pickup now requires a moving truck the size of a semi. Sometimes my stuff seems almost as essential as food and water. I surround myself with it, I comfort myself with it, and it’s painful to imagine life without it. It’s my stuff. As I’m pondering how I should organize all of it, I recall the story in Matthew where the rich man asks Jesus what he is still lacking to inherit eternal life.
Jesus answers, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Matthew 19:21-22)
In this passage Jesus is addressing this man’s weakness. His wealth is the one thing getting in the way of his relationship with God and Jesus knew it. If Jesus was standing in front of you now and you asked “what do I lack,” do you know what He would say? What is the one thing He would ask you to give up?
Maybe it’s an unhealthy relationship, and addiction to a substance, a job that defines you, or maybe it is your stuff.
When I was a little girl I was attached to a little stuffed dog I named Creampuff. One day I left him at McDonald’s and I never went back to get him. The sweater I had to have when I was 14 is probably at a goodwill store if time hasn’t disintegrated it altogether. The red truck I worshipped (that used to fit all my stuff) is in pieces at a wrecking yard somewhere.
Relationships that were so hard to give up have ended, jobs that defined me have come and gone, and I’ve managed to give up addictions I thought I could never overcome. And I know there is more I need to let go of that I just can’t face yet.