On the Reconciliation of Stuff (3)

The desire to fill the empty space lives inside all of us. Some people call it the “God shaped hole”, or “a longing for Heaven and the God who created it.” It’s common to humanity, but what do we do with our hole? How do we choose to fill it? I briefly touched on this in posts (1) and (2). Catch up on the conversation…

Today I’m talking about the excess of stuff in our lives, you know the stuff- clothes, home furnishings, shoes, jewelry. All of the stuff we love to spend hours shopping for. Please don’t misinterpret me, I’m not saying you’re a bad person for having stuff. I’m simply taking a stand against the excess of it all. There’s a fine line between needing clothes to cover our bodies and gorging ourselves to fill a closet. So the question I posed in the earlier posts was, what are we trying to fill? Our closet, or our soul? In the book,
Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul
Jennie Allen has a few strong statements that I’d like us to consider. Join me as I take my own temperature…

He (God) knows we keep chasing other loves until we love him most. We keep spinning. We keep searching, restless. We keep missing all he has for us. He’ll always feel far away, drowned out by other louder rivers, until every other thing fades away and he becomes the only thing.” pg. 40

What other loves am I chasing? Do I crave approval from others more than Him? How important is it to look in style, fashionable, hip? Do I feel fulfilled when I fill my cart with stuff and bring it home and put it in it’s place of honor? Do I want God to be the only thing?

It is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives. And before we know it, God’s gifts have replaced God himself. Surrender is a process for us.” pg. 44

Do I expect to have all of the stuff? Do I view it as a right, and have I become entitled? When I feel like God is asking me to take a risk, does money factor into my decision?

The ironic thing about believing in God and supernatural things is that the invisible stuff is actually the most trustworthy, the most stable. So the concrete things we can see and touch, they become the wind, they become the things we try to catch, and over and over they pass through our fingers and souls, keeping us empty.” pg. 46

Do I really believe that the invisible stuff is more valuable?

She wanted to tell God she would give it all up for him, for any life he had for her, rather than fighting for the normal one she’d wanted. At the time she had no picture of what it would be… just a prayer asking God to be God and her promise that she would follow. She traded entitlement for surrender.” pg. 50

If this last statement describes you, then we are on a journey together sister. I’m fighting the beast of excess, not just stuff, but in other areas as well. We can do this, and it only requires one well thought out step at a time. When we stop to take our emotional temperature, and figure out how we are really feeling inside, the stuff that covers it all up becomes irrelevant. God and his love and his plan and purposes are enough to motivate me to trade entitlement for surrender.

8 thoughts on “On the Reconciliation of Stuff (3)”

  • I have been experiencing this very thing myself. I sit here even now wondering what I need to go buy at the store because it’s some sort of therapy I’ve chosen to put into practice. I am starting to believe it’s a sickness! Worst of all though, I seriously seek approval from others more than I seek God’s approval. For some reason, I’m having trouble just knowing that there isn’t anything I need to do to gain his approval, it just seems so unreal to me. I probably need therapy. Nonetheless, D, I enjoy your writing and how it prompts me to “take my own temperature.”

    • We are very similar Amy, the approval thing is big for me too. With every major life change Jesse and I have faced over the past 5 years I think another layer of caring about others’ approval has faded. It’s a process for sure!

  • “There’s an app for that.” I’ve been pondering that for a while. The incessant need to fill life with that one new app on our iPhone or Droid that will complete us. It is also at the very heart of eBay — maybe I can find that one thing that will complete my life. In the end it never satisfies. If you feel unsettled, it’s because you were meant for something greater than this world has to offer. We are only complete in Christ. He is the source, no He IS our peace, our joy, our contentment.

    • It’s so true Bob- and I think we all gravitate towards different areas to fill our life. For some it’s excessive stuff, but the list could go on and on. It’s really hitting me squarely in the face as I drive past storage facility after storage facility- finding contentment is true gain.

  • And now I notice storage facilities also. I will be seriously evaluating everything I unpack. I was serious when I posted I want to be a minimalist. Every time we move my stuff causes more so much stress! It shouldn’t be the case.
    Keep writing because I will keep reading!

    • Thank you! It’s humbling to know you are reading. 🙂 I plan on posting for each room in the house because as I started to think about all the details, it seemed to get a little overwhelming. My first series I suppose 😉

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