I drive north on 31 towards Heritage Middle School every Sunday morning. Sitting at the light where I turn left to get to the school, I see a large, square building rising from the hill just ahead. It’s tall. You can’t miss it.
When construction started, I wondered what would be built on that property. It seemed like a great space to build something beautiful. It's the first thing you see coming into Spring Hill and the last thing you see when you leave.
So what is it? A self-storage facility.
Self-storage facilities must be lucrative. We don’t have enough room in our 3,000 square foot houses and garages, so we need extra space to store all our stuff. We are willing to pay thousands of dollars a year simply to store all the things that won’t fit in our houses.
Do we own too much stuff?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I believe the general consensus would be yes. But it's not the stuff that is causing me increasing concern. I’m becoming more concerned with what our stuff is doing to us. Is it harming us in ways that we don’t quickly realize?
Just do a quick search on the internet about the benefits of owning less. (Here is a simple list of 25 benefits of owning less.) There are so many fringe benefits to simplifying our lives, but the what is the benefit to our soul? It has been said that the more things that we own, the more that things own us. Even though I like my things, I don’t want to be owned by them. I want my heart to be owned by Christ. Do our possession hinder us from having a relationship with our Savior? It doesn’t hurt to ask the question.
I believe that our possessions have the opportunity to distract us. The more things that we have, the more that we have to keep up with, the more we have to clean, the more we have to maintain and fix. If we are spending all our time fixing and maintaining and cleaning, that is time we could spend other places. We could spend time on things of eternal significance rather than on things that will perish, spoil and fade. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2 ESV)
I don’t believe that I suffer from attention deficit disorder, but I can say that I am easily distracted by things. This is one of the reasons that I have resorted back to pen and paper for a lot of note taking, particularly when I am working on my sermon. The sea of things around me disctracts me. All the things that I can do or the places that I can go on the computer distract me. So I keep it simple. I take notes on a legal pad and then I scan it into my computer when the sermon is complete. Less clutter. Less distraction. I’m trying.
If we can remove the clutter from our lives, it follows that we can remove the clutter from our hearts as well. Ephesians 2:22 says “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Do we have room in our hearts and lives for the Spirit, or are we crowding him out with too much stuff? These are good questions for us to consider.