I am not a shopper. I am not a hoarder. I do not enjoy having a lot of stuff. Thus I sometimes get annoyed with a society which loves to get, collect, and pass along massive amounts of stuff. To me, a clear environment is akin to a clear mind. When I am busy taking care of “stuff” I tend to miss out on doing other things – things that I would much rather be doing.
As an example: my youngest daughter came to me recently and asked if she could go out and “meet the rain”. I had a sudden flashback to when I was a young girl and went out to meet the rain myself. I remember having a glorious time just standing outside watching and feeling the rain come down and being amazed at the power and glory of nature. I so enjoyed the raw and primitive reality of a quiet, pattering rain. When my daughter came back inside a few minutes later, she was laughing, and she told me that she had gone into the “deepest, deepest rain”. I knew exactly what she meant, and I was so happy for her.
Stuff is just stuff; it will not last. Stuff has a purpose in that we need stuff to eat, to wear, to live in, and the tools of our trade, but still, stuff can become a noose around our necks when we offer up the very purpose of our existence to the maintenance of all of our stuff – stuff that distracts us from God, from experiencing life and other people. Living simply with less stuff takes self control and it can be hard to get rid of stuff we have become attached to, but we make choices all the time, and choices involve a spirit of letting go. Our lives are a process of letting go, realizing that people we love will go on ahead without us, and we will have to leave others behind some day.
When my last day comes I do not want to be filled with thoughts about the stuff of life but rather the relationships I have nourished and the life to come. I do not want to be filled with regrets of wasted time and opportunities. My days pass all too swiftly and I want them filled with more than stuff.