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.