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Friday, April 3, 2009

The Stuff of Stress or Is It the Stress of Stuff?

I have been thinking about how much more stress is in my life than I once had. When I first married my wife and I had little of nothing. She had one semester left in college. I had already graduated. We had no furniture and no real debt. We were able to move at a moment's notice. We had nothing to lose. The Lord could make a smooth move for us from one ministry to another in a matter of days.

This isn't our case now. We have been married for thirty-two years. We have accumulated more furniture than will fit in our house. We have electronics that I am neither willing to hook up because I don't need it nor sell or give away because I might need it one day. I have a yearly house payment that equals the total price of the first house we made an offer on soon after we married. We have tons of things to lose. It would take at least six months for the Lord to move us.

Why do I keep all this stuff? I can't say its because I need it. Much of the stuff is in boxes that we haven't opened in years. Our garage is full of stuff. Our cars have never seen the inside of the garage. Our closets are full of stuff. I have lots of clothes that don't fit anymore but I promise myself I will lose weight and get back into soon. Get real!

The stuff is keeping me from doing what I need to do. I can't find the things that I really need because I have so much stuff to go through in order to get to those things. I don't even know all the stuff I have. It makes my life much more stressful.

Why don't I start getting rid of the stuff? I pick up each item and say, "You know, I might need that someday." I put it down and never do anything with my stuff.

I am convinced that the Lord does not want me to have all this stuff. It is not good for me or honoring to Him. I will force myself to admit that there are things I will never need while there are people who do need them. I will sell that which is reasonable, give away all that someone will take and haul away the rest. I will clean my garage and closets. I will no longer become a slave to my stuff.

I must start doing some of that today. I must do some of it every day. I must never stop because stuff seems to arrive at my house all the time.

How about you? How's your stuff?

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