This morning I am surrounded by stuff. Over 250 boxes of stuff! Well, that is what happens when you’re married for almost 48 years! You acquire a lot of stuff. Allied Van Lines has estimated that we have about 20,000 pounds of stuff as we make our move to North Texas.
The King James Version of the Bible actually uses the word “stuff” to describe goods, possessions, belongings or baggage.
I remember Robert Turner used to write a column entitled “Stuff About Things.” It was a potpourri of thoughts, ideas and spiritual lessons from a variety of sources. It was good stuff.
So, I thought I would write a post about stuff.
As I look at all these boxes, we’ve packed a lot of stuff. Books. Dishes. Clothes. Furniture. Books. Memorabilia. Reminders of childhood, High School and College. Stuff from the kids’ childhood. Yeah, we got a lot stuff from everywhere we’ve ever been. And of course picture albums. And more books and more dishes. And just a lot of stuff.
We buy houses to store all our stuff! And of course, we like to have the good stuff. You know, good quality. The kind of stuff that others can look at and say, “Hey you’ve got some really nice stuff!”
I’m wondering after packing all of this stuff. Do we really need it? I mean this is a lot of stuff. Well, I need my books! Oh and Norma Jean will want all of her dishes and cooking utensils. And of course, we need our clothes. Even the ones we’ve haven’t worn in a long time. You know they might come back in style. Or we might lose weight and wear them again.
So, it’s hard to get rid of stuff. Although we did discard some stuff. Not any good stuff, of course. But we will probably have to replace some of it with more stuff when we get moved.
Stuff. Stuff. And more stuff. What’s it all mean?
British writer David Mitchell is credited with saying, “Whoever dies with the most stuff wins.” Really? Is that what it’s all about? Just trying to get? Wanting to have more for the sake of having more? Trying to win at some game of getting more stuff?
Maybe we all need to take a serious step back. Examine ourselves. And think. Think about what Jesus said when the man came to Him complaining that his brother would not divide their father’s inheritance with him. His brother got all the stuff. And he didn’t get any stuff. Jesus warned, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Lk. 12:15)
Jesus is saying life is not about stuff. It’s not about our possessions. Our things. Life is more than the abundance of our stuff. The Savior said on another occasion, “I am come that you might have life. Life in all it’s fullness” (Jn 10:10). The full life is not about our stuff. It’s about living for Jesus. About spiritual fulfillment. About being God-focused. About being Heaven minded.
When John D. Rockefeller died he was one of the world’s richest men. Following his funeral, a reporter trying to get some inside information on the amount of wealth, asked Mr. Rockefeller’s accountant, “How much did he leave?” The accountant replied, “He left it all.” And so will we.
My stuff? Well, I guess it’s going to the Lone Star State. But I better be careful. My life is more important than my stuff. My goals need be bigger than getting more stuff. My purpose in life is not to die with the most stuff. It’s to live for Jesus.
What about you? Is stuff consuming your life? Or have you found the abundant life–the Savior-centered life? He will give you true joy. Peace. Contentment And fulfillment. Not your stuff. Not even the good stuff!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman