Today I want to write about a more modest side of “branching out.” Although I started this blog to talk about traveling to Taiwan and experiencing a grand adventure, having a place to write my thoughts has forced me to think about other aspects of my life as well. I know I will “branch out” in a few months, but I want to do it now too – which happens in different ways, I’m discovering.
It’s true we can find ourselves growing / expanding our horizons when we travel or make new friends. When we pursue originality or do something that truly terrifies us. When we create, explore, and change. But I’d like to suggest that we can also grow in the small, everyday choices that determine how we live, who we are, and what we believe.
This week I’ve had time to make some of those choices – and honestly, I have been restless. No longer required to rush from commitment to commitment, I found myself making some very unproductive decisions [sitting in my room & spending endless hours on Pinterest and Netflix can actually be very tiring to the soul]. I realized there are many aspects of my life that are centered around greed, boredom, selfishness, comparing myself to others, hoarding, and just all around over-complicating.
For a little bit of background knowledge, let me tell you about my tiny house dream. This summer I was captivated by the idea of living in a tiny house. I watched documentaries and TV shows, created a new Pinterest board (can you tell I like Pinterest?), and showed my dad plans so he could build me one 🙂 I loved the idea of minimizing material possessions to live a life centered around noticing the beautiful, living on what one really needs, and abandoning wants.
Through my thinking this week, however, I realized that moving into a tiny house doesn’t automatically rid a person of greed, worry, or worldliness. These are matters of the heart that must be taken care of internally – no matter where you live.
Unfortunately, I think I have neglected to fight these things…giving self-absorption a home in my heart. As a Christian, I have often referenced Matthew 6:25-34 in times of high stress or anxiety, not even realizing that I spend every day going against its teaching. I spend every day insisting that I need all of the clothes in my closet (or should I say closets? I have three back at home. Three.), all of the food stored in my pantry, all of the money in my bank account.
Now I’m all for being prepared, smart, and wise in the way we use and maintain the blessings God has given. It is not a sin to have money or possessions, it is a sin to hoard them. To elevate them to a status higher than God. To justify our dependence on them with a plethora of worldly excuses. And I’m guilty of those things.
Maybe it’s because I’m about to graduate college and start a life outside of what I’ve known thus far, but I am terrified by the amount of stuff I have. I am overwhelmed by the physical and mental “junk” I have allowed to clutter my life for so long. And I am, frankly, a little embarrassed to go on living in such selfish ignorance.
I’m ready to rid myself of this. I’ve created a list of things that need to be addressed ASAP and I’ve started working on them. If you are struggling with similar problems, I encourage you to do the same. Identify the things that are adding weight to your life and keeping you from recognizing true blessings. Let’s start to simplify our lives in a way that allows room for more of the good stuff. More genuine relationships. More appreciation for the things we actually need. More giving and less taking. More thankfulness to God.
Like the birds of the air who do not reap or store, let’s fly without the weight of our possessions on our wings.