Conntecting the Dots

Purging, Purchasing, and Perspective

I spent last week at my mom’s home. She’s 86 now and still living independently, but she’s beginning to think about her options for the future. No matter what she decides, she feels compelled to purge earthly belongings.

Together we sorted old dishes, linens, hand crocheted doilies, lamps, you-name-it. We boxed and bagged some things to be given to family members, and we made three trips to facilities that accept donations.

We worked until we were too tired to cook (yup, we ate frozen pizza twice), and we’re still not finished. Funny thing, no one who walks into her home can tell that we’ve done anything because we focused only on the contents of cupboards, closets, and drawers. Relatively speaking, she had a lot less stuff than most people, but Round 2 is yet to come.

Helping Mom brought back memories of purging my own home last winter in preparation to move aboard the sailboat. I either dumped, donated, sold, or gave away nearly every earthly belonging. I disposed of some stuff easily. Who really needs four loaf pans, anyway? Or clothes that don’t fit? Other belongings, not so much. Emotional attachment is sometimes difficult to release.

Nonetheless, nine months later I can honestly say I haven’t yearned for any of the material possessions to which I bid goodbye. I enjoy the freedom that comes from not having to maintain things. And less housework is always good, yes? Another perk—should I suddenly die, my kids will have no horror stories to tell their friends about having to purge our home.

Consumers spent more than $16 billion dollars shopping online last weekend. I can’t even wrap my head around that sum. How many items purchased were truly necessary? I wonder how many were whims or wants. How many items bought will disappear into a cupboard or basement only to be used a couple of times before being recycled in a garage sale? Could some of that money have been better spent—on investing in what lasts for eternity, for instance?

Jesus said, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store up your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT).

For many, Christmas shopping is far from over. As we consider our shopping lists and the great sales that come after Christmas, let’s ask God to help us keep His perspective. Let’s practice self-discipline in buying material things and remember to also invest in what matters most—people’s souls. We can easily do so through donating to non-profits such as The Salvation Army, a local crisis pregnancy center, Angel Tree, and media-based ministries such as Focus on the Family or Insight for Living. Mission organizations will also welcome donations so they can continue to spread the Gospel far and wide.

Where our treasure is, there will our hearts and thoughts also be. Let’s treasure those things that matter most.

#bgbg2 #ChristmasGenerosity #WhatMattersMost

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