It’s been almost a year since our down-sizing move from the home where we raised 6 children. It has 5 bedrooms and just at 2700 sq. ft. and a playground type backyard to enjoy with all the little ones that were coming along. We had friends who had made this transition. Most, if not all, had a similar caution: ‘You won’t believe how much STUFF you have squirreled away that you forgot you had’. ‘Alrighty then’, I thought casually. My response wasn’t meant to be cavalier, but I did think I knew how much STUFF we had; that is until we began to empty out the STUFF’S SPACE.
We began with the outbuildings that held tools, yard equipment and other STUFF, some of which I had forgotten I had. This pretty much filled the storage unit we had rented. (We didn’t have a replacement house purchased yet so we needed space for the STUFF) Next, we moved to the garage, which for normal people houses their car/s and related items. For me, though, more tools. ‘Not doing bad’, I mused. This only half-filled the SECOND storage unit. I consoled myself with the thought that I only had a few books in the attic. (A full walk-in attic) 🙂 30 boxes of books and a whole lot of other STUFF later, our legs were telling us not to climb anymore steps, our backs were telling us to lay off the lifting and the THIRD storage unit was nearly full. Now to the furniture, clothes, dishes, etc.
We stuffed STUFF in any available crevice and even forced STUFF into places where there were no spaces. Finally, we were at a managable level of STUFF. But we needed more STUFF space. Kindly a son-in-law and daughter offered us a barn, friends offered us part of their basement and their garage and we finally were able to stuff the remaining STUFF into our cars, truck and trailer. WHEW! I was so relieved but wondered where all this STUFF had come from! Technically speaking, I knew that I had purchased or collected it all, but when had it happened. The answer: a little bit at a time over a long period of time.
For me, what is true of STUFF has, also, been true of sinful choices whether I do what I’m commanded NOT to do or don’t do what I’m commanded TO DO. It’s a small compromise here or a neglected responsibility there. We often justify ourselves that we’d only do this one thing once or we told ourselves that we would do the right thing tomorrow. Like all the STUFF, sinful acts/habits are collected. And they weigh us down and slow our progress in the Lord.
Just as Jesus said, ‘Be on your guard against the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees and as God said through Paul, ‘Do you not know that a little ‘leaven’ leavens the whole lump?’. Matthew 16:6; I Corinthians 5:6f
Let’s be a people who guard themselves against the collection of SINFUL STUFF. After all, ‘the grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to say NO to worldly passions…and ungodliness…and to live pure lives…’ . Titus 2:11f