Someone asked me the other day, why do we (meaning everyone and presumably especially Americans) hang on to so much stuff? It’s a fair question and one I think needs answering. We spend our lives accumulating stuff, television exists because we watch shows that are broken up with people trying to sell us more stuff, Christmas has become a holiday absolutely obsessed with stuff. Bronwyn and I aren’t even really “stuff” people yet we need to spend the next week going through our stuff. Everything we own falls into categorizes:
- Going to Africa (clothes, books, guitar)
- Things that go to Bronwyn’s parents house aka storage (pictures, heirlooms)
- Things we throw away (so much stuff that we don’t want and nobody else could want)
- Things we are selling (anyone need any Star Wars memorabilia?)
- Things we are giving away.
When we hiked the Appalachian Trail you would think we would have learned that we really don’t need much stuff. Everything we carried for six months had to fit into two backpacks. Our move to Africa is similar, we aren’t going to ship much over and are using it as an opportunity to get rid of so much stuff!
I’m not going to get into a big lesson here on why we don’t need half the stuff we own, mostly because I think we already know that. I’m reading a book on the economics of Africa and was fascinated that in some African languages there is actually a derogatory word for “someone who puts things in a refrigerator”. The meaning being what kind of person would put things into a refrigerator for later when there is a need somewhere for it now. I am actually very excited about getting rid of things I don’t think we need but even with that I’m having trouble getting rid of some things. Even things I know I’ll never need, use, or even look at. I like what Jesus said:
Luke 12:15English Standard Version (ESV)
15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Anything can become an idol including just owning a bunch of stuff. Bronwyn and I have made a commitment to be be wise with money and those who know us well know we always have been. We will go to Africa with no debt and very little real need other than housing, eating, insurance, you know things we feel we really need and the organization insists we have. So take a few minutes and ask yourself if you are letting things be an idol and also please take a moment to consider becoming part of our support team.Click here to support Brett and Bronwyn!