Father Hugh told a joke a few weeks back. Now, I know what you’re thinking… priestly humor? Come on! But here me (or him) out. It’s a really good joke, and it leads to an interesting discussion in perspectives. Here it is:
There was a guy who had a lot of riches. Lots of money, stocks and bonds. Big bucks. He gets a slick lawyer and brings a lawsuit against Heaven. He wants to bring his riches with him. St. Peter figures he will humor this guy and allow him to bring one suitcase with him. The guy dies and shows up with a suitcase on wheels 8 ft. long, six feet wide, and five feet deep. St. Peter says ” That is not a suitcase. I must see what’s in it.” He opens the trunk. It is full of gold bricks. He then says, ” You die and choose to bring a suitcase full of pavement?”
Ok. Admit it…that was funny! It also brings up a good point. What kind of treasures do you work for? I realize that we all need money to live and buy food, shelter, etc. but how much is providing for the basics and how much is too much?
It was a great shock to me when we had to move out of our home at how much “stuff” we had accumulated. “Pretties” to decorate; clothes that we never wear; books that we haven’t read in years. When you are forced to pare down, it becomes painfully obvious that we are a nation (and possibly a world) of consumers.
Every special occasion needs a gift, or several. In fact, Child #3 honestly believes that no one will like him if he doesn’t give big, nice gifts. From where did all of this come?
I would love to claim that it didn’t have anything to do with me, but honestly, I can’t say that. Our birthdays and Christmases seem to grow each year. It’s gotten way out of hand. And remember, please, that I don’t have much and am currently living at a homeless shelter. Well Wednesday, Thursday, Friday?
So, I am taking a serious look at this trend in our home (when we get one and before that, just pondering at the shelter) to see if there isn’t a better way. Of course, God can’t possibly want us to be weighed down by so much stuff, right? So, maybe experiences are better gifts? I’m not sure how the kiddos will feel about that, but I’m warming up to the idea.
What about you? Are you overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” in your life? Want to join my “stuff fast?” Let’s talk. What are your thoughts?
2 thoughts on “All in the Right Perspective”
While I admire your quest to pare down the stuff in your life, my advice would be to let the kids decide for themselves what they’d like to have moved forward with them into their new lives and what they feel needs to stay in the current situation. They may not be as keen as you to divest when they have been and are still going through temporary living conditions. We each process trauma in different ways, so don’t be surprised if they need to hold onto some things for longer than you think they should. Sometimes it isn’t the things, but the emotions they evoke.
I watched the entire Marie Kondo series, and have incorporated her methods and thought processes into so much of what I do now!
Perhaps after you go through your move, you may wish to explore helping other people to pare down and reorganize their lives, for you know from experience that it isn’t the things in your life giving you the greatest satisfaction and pleasure! That’s such a massive pearl of wisdom to carry forward, and I’m sure it will be of great help to many! (Write down your thoughts and experiences related to this, for who knows, this can become a wonderful TedEx talk?!)
A whole new career opening up! Yeah. I don’t know how they’d respond to just taking a small vacation for Christmas! Probably not a great idea! ☺️ We’ll just have to see if there is more small gifts and or food gifts. I don’t know, but you’re right – what with all the trauma we’ve all been through and things we have to deal with, they need to have some healing time, and possibly old friends (i.e. stuffed animals, etc.)