Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simplifying












For ten years, Dan & I worked in an inner city ministry with those less fortunate than we were. We ate, had fellowship, and worshiped with those who would be considered at the poverty level by today's standards. We also know that even the poorest of the poor here have things that some in other countries could only dream about.

We have always tried to live a very simple lifestyle. Some of that was so we could identify with those we ministered to and some of it was so that our resources could be used to further God's kingdom. I'd rather have my money go to help others out than be spent on things we don't really need.

We have one television that is 20 years old. We have two cars and both are clunkers. Yet they work and get us where we need to go. Most of our clothes have been given to us through the generosity of others. We have tried to follow the principle, "Use it up; wear it out; make it do or do without!"

Yet, as I've been working the past few days to go through my closets and cupboards, I realize how much we've accumulated the past few years. It is to start to hoard "things" that aren't really necessary. Most of those items have been given to us. So I didn't spend money on them, but they take up space, thought and energy. They are items that perhaps others could use.

How many pieces of clothing does one need? How many kitchen items? How many craft supplies? So, I've been ruthlessly trying to purge my house of those items. You know what? It's hard. The longer you have something, the harder it is to let go. It's easy to begin to think, "I need this." "I may have use of this some day."

This move is good in that way. I am taking stock and getting rid of baggage. I'm working to pare down and simplify things again.