By Christina Puntigam
Every year we seem to have the same thing happen; too much stuff, too little space. It wasn’t so bad when we had six addresses in four years, we were always moving and evaluating and getting rid of whatever didn’t fit in a box, or in the truck we rented. I was always amazed at the fact that no matter how long we lived somewhere there were at least six large garbage bags of stuff that was being thrown away.
We have had the same address now for a few years. We recently “cleaned” up our guest room in the expectation of company and got two bags of junk out of the one room that is used to house guests and watch TV and that’s it!
Something deep inside tells me that this is not the road to happiness. All this stuff that I keep around me is not going to bring me everlasting joy. There is only one thing that does and that is God. God tells us in the Bible that this life is just temporary and that the things of this world will disappear.
I’ve already seen this happen in my life. The doll that I used to sleep with every night and needed to take with me everywhere, no longer brings comfort. It is after all just a doll. The coffee maker that I just had to have is collecting dust in the corner as it gets used less and less. The shirt that looked so cute with the pants I had is long since stretched out and faded. All these things didn’t live up to my expectations, they didn’t fulfill me.
I wonder how different life would be if instead of accumulating things because I like the looks of them or they have a snazzy new feature, I brought things into my life because they remind me of the goodness of God. I ponder on the possibility of things in my home allowing me to pause and praise the Maker of the Universe every time I use them. What would life be like in that little corner of the world where I stopped having junk in my house and started having a home that proclaims God’s glory in every detail? I have a hunch that I would stop having too much stuff and too little space. Life would be full of joy and worship. There would be no more of buying something because it was a good deal or keeping an unneeded Christmas gift because great aunt Gertrude gave it to me. Life would be simpler and free. There would be no more bags of trash leaving the house in mass month after month as I cleaned rooms. There would be instead an outpouring of love and joy and hope.
That is what God desires for us. He wants us to proclaim the Good News in every part of our being, even in the home that we live in. People should walk into our homes and know without a doubt that we belong to God. The things of this world can easily block out the shouts of joy and love that God beckons us with every second of every day. He wants us to know that He is deeply and madly in love with us, but if there is too much stuff and too little space, it can be hard to hear that voice calling out to us. The challenge here is not to get rid of all of our junk, but it is to create a place where there is room for God in all His Glory.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NIV)
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.