20 July 2008

Packrats Untie!

(No, that is not a mis-spelling...just read.)

I have (yet another) confession to make: I am a packrat. I save EVERYTHING: movie ticket stubs, every receipt known to man (although, those come in handy if I ever need to return something or validate a warranty), calendars because the pictures are cute. I have tubs of greeting cards for every occasion, journals dating back to before high school (it's amazing to re-read some of those of find out what I thought was so important back then). A friend of mine recently reprimanded me for increasing my already very extensive DVD collection by 17 DVDs in one shopping experience, but it was WalMart's dump bin and I only paid $5 for each DVD! Some of them were brand new to my collection - but a few were to replace VHS tapes that I turned around and donated to the public library - so it was my civic duty to buy those! (hahaha)

Just stuff, stuff and more stuff. In my defense, I come by it honestly. I come from a long line of female packrats. My mother still has my childhood military medical records - and we ain't been associated with the military for over 30 years now! And my grandmother has a copy of my kindergarten report card (or she did not too long ago).

I have been home sick since Friday, so one of the things I thought I would do was to switch my closet from winter clothes to summer clothes. (Yeah, I know - I'm a little late, but I been busy!) As I dug through my storage bins to pull out the clothes to hang up and check for wear-ability and style, etc., the bags for Goodwill and "maybe someone at work can benefit from this" and "I know Mom liked this, so I'll see if she wants it" - grew fuller and fuller. As I rearranged and organized out my closet, I thought to myself that it is a blessing to have separate wardrobes for various seasons - especially when there are so many people who do without in this world. I truly don't take it for granted. And even though I make charitable contributions to help generate clothings, supplies, and food for those less fortunate than me, am I truly doing enough? Am I being a faithful steward of the resources God blesses me with? And, why am I keeping so much stuff anyway? In case of a catastrophic event, I wouldn't be able to take any of it with me anyway...just ask my brother and uncle who lost everything to a fire on New Years Eve. By the way, the picture attached is the "dress and skirt" section of my closet. Yeah, I know: I should never say the words "but I don't have anything to wear" - and yet, sometimes, that is exactly the thought going through my mind...pray for me, will you?

As Christians, we know that we "can't take it with us". The only thing that we will take with us into the earth made new is our characters. Am I packing my character with the fruits of the spirit as outlined in Galatians 5:22-23? Love, joy, peace, longsuffering (yeah, I need to work on THAT one!), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (the bane of every packrat and a trait I personally need to work on)

If you recognize that you are also a packrat, I invite you to join me in "untying" ourselves from the things we have packed into our lives...not only the material things that tie us here on earth, but the spiritual things that we don't want to take with us into God's Kingdom.

[See, I told you it wasn't a mis-spelling!]

Be blessed.

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