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The Stuffmeister

January 10, 2012

The older I get, the less stuff I like having around.  Mostly, I don’t want to dust it.  If you own stuff, you have to take care of the stuff.  And eventually, if you own enough stuff,  you stop owning it and it starts owning you.

Having a lot of stuff can make me feel crowded.  That Hoarders show on television?  Can’t bear to watch it.  It makes me feel anxious to see that much stuff and chaos crammed into one space, and my chest feels tight and wheezy just looking at it.  It also makes me feel sad that the hoarders honestly feel they need that stuff, because there are two basic truths about stuff that it’s good to keep in mind:

1. You can’t take it with you when you die.

2. It all burns.

I’m not saying I don’t like stuff.  I do.  But it’s not the same stuff I liked 20 years ago, that’s for sure.  The stuff I love best falls into three categories:

1. It was a gift (or made by) someone I love.

2. It has a prophetic message for me.

3. It is beautiful or somehow inspirational to me.

As you can imagine, when something manages to land in all three categories, I really love it.  I have a number of stuffs that qualify in all three categories, and I treasure them especially.  Still, I try to keep in mind those two basic truths about stuff.  I’m not going to be in this earth suit on this ball of dirt forever, and while I’m here I have to remember that my stuff is flammable, and rust-able, and steal-able.  I can treasure my stuff, but I must not let it be my actual treasure, because this planet is a lousy storehouse for treasures.

In the bible it says we should not keep our treasures on earth for those exact reasons.  Instead, we should store them up in heaven.  To be honest, I really don’t know how much treasure I have stored up in heaven.  I tend to tuck things away there and then forget about them, and sometimes years later someone will say “remember when…” and I find that I don’t remember when at all, or I barely remember when.  That’s mostly ok with me because I don’t want to be a score-keeper with God.  It’s a dumb idea to think one can ever give “enough” to the God who owns everything and gives us everything we have, and a dumber idea to think we can impress Him with our attempts at selflessness or sacrifice or valor or whatever virtue we think will make Him like us more.  God doesn’t love us because He’s impressed by us.  He loves us because He’s impressed on us, on our hearts, and that somehow gives all our paltry efforts great charm for Him.

I trust Him to be the keeper and guarder of my treasures, and to keep them inventoried and in order.  I hope there are more treasures there than I can remember, rather like there are always more cans of cream of mushroom soup in my pantry than I remember, and so I buy a couple more and add them to the stockpile, only to forget that I have them and so I buy even more the next time I visit the grocery.

I really hope He finds inattentiveness charming too.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 7:00 pm

    I understand it makes me nervous and I want to kick and scream. I don’t know why but It makes me so uncomfortable. There is probably a disorder for it but I’m just going to call it…Stuffy Syndrome.

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