There’s a very small and beautiful Japanese lady called Marie Kondo who goes into people’s homes, helps them assess what’s needed in their life and what isn’t, and then has them say a deep and heartfelt goodbye to all of the personal items that once had a place in their existence but have long since wreaked havoc on the state of their affairs.
She’s basically me if she came with a set of matches and an affinity for the phrase, “Do you really need that sweater seeing that we’re all gonna die one day anyways?”
Matt and Ava have learned how to hide their things. It really is a glorious art to find that pair of sweatpants with the knee in the hole and the waistband that’s too tight, scrunching itself into a neat little ball in the closet as if I’m some well-mannered Japanese TV host with a penchant for sparing people’s feelings and who doesn’t enjoy the smell of burning fleece.
I just feel that stuff is stuff. To tag a sentimental value to something seems almost foreign to me, save for the few trinkets from close friends and family that actually mean something. But gathering stuff for the sake of stuff gathering is akin to the man storing surplus grain in the larger barn he builds so that he can take a load off, pop open a cold one, and enjoy the feats of his labor (Luke 12:16-21).
Oh but then spoiler alert: he dies.
I have to ask myself daily where my treasure is. I have to light my own match and hold it close to the things I think I own. I own nothing. I am a steward of God’s good graces. I am merely borrowing my home and my car and my dog and my daughter and my husband and all the other things that surround me that reflect an erroneous semblance of safety.
There is nothing safe about this world. Remember that. I’m not saying there is no joy, no hope. Oh gosh no. WE are that joy and that hope to a barren world that thinks it knows better. Which is why it’s so important to burn the mental ties to anything that keeps us from being salt and light.
The more tethered we are to “our” treasure, the less valuable we are to others.
But the more we light the fire to the ties that hold us to worldly thinking, well, we lift up and away, feet dangling, eyes toward heaven.