It’s just stuff…

Well we had a bit of excitement this week.  On Wednesday night Jason went to the mall just 5 minutes away from here to pick out a new cell phone for me, and then around 8:20 I get a call from him letting me know that he is standing out in the parking lot and our Suburban is gone.   As in….  not there…  vanished… without a trace.   It was shocking to say the least.     He had parked it under a light, about 3 spaces in, but that didn’t stop whoever took it… it was very very gone.

When I got the news I was stunned and rather upset, but when I turned and saw 4 little faces staring at me I had to change my tune pretty quick.   I told them it was gone, but for them not to get too upset because it’s just stuff!!   And it’s true, a vehicle is just stuff… except this one had some rather nice rims on it… 22 inch ones to be exact…

Just a nice little grocery getter with very shiny tires.  So shiny that we were pretty darn sure they took it just for the rims and crazily enough when it was found Thursday, it was found abandoned, sans wheels.   How cruel.     A car without its tires must be utter humiliation.

But it’s funny how attached we get to our things – and how we can miss them when they are gone.  But when I looked at the facts I realized that no one was hurt, we have insurance, and that Suburban is the biggest gas guzzler on the planet with its big engine and all-wheel drive.  Just what I need for running around the city… so maybe it’s a good wake-up call for us to rethink this whole thing anyway.

The verse I read to the kids the next morning was this… Matt 6:19-21

19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Basically telling us our real investments should be on things that are going to last for eternity, and to not get our hearts all caught up on Suburbans with nice rims.   These earthy things just don’t last, they break, they fall apart, they get stolen, and Matthew Henry says in his commentary, ” It is folly to make that our treasure which we may so easily be robbed of.”  Instead,  our treasure should be things of God…. the riches and glory and pleasure that we have in our relationship with God.   These are the things to be sought after – and they can never fade or be taken from us.

So the kids have recovered sufficiently and since the Suburban was found we at least have our car-seats back and the other junk we left inside.   And this whole experience has been a good reminder that it’s just stuff and stuff comes and goes and shouldn’t take our heart with it when it does.

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Stuff…

After a day of buying stuff, sorting, organizing and purging stuff – then cleaning stuff, putting stuff away, getting more stuff out, picking the kid’s stuff off the floor, rearranging stuff and thinking of stuff that I still would like to buy –  I read this blog post…

Kelly’s Korner – Ecuador Trip

It’s such a wake-up call to see how a huge percent of the world lives… without stuff.  Without even the basic stuff that they actually NEED, they somehow manage to do without.   Their lives aren’t consumed by their stuff like our lives our,  they are too worried about their daily survival.    Like the family shown in the blog, they are living in abject poverty and for a moment, I’m strangely envious.   Not of their life of poverty and lack of choice, but the freedom of not being fettered down and tied to all the stuff that we hold so dear.   They really truly need God in their lives as they have real needs that they get to see God fill.    We on the other hand don’t think we need God because we can try to fill the God-sized void in our lives with all our stuff.  And stuff can be mind-numbingly distracting.    And the crazy thing is, I can honestly say (because I’ve been there) that for the most part we aren’t any happier than those people in Ecuador.   Isn’t it crazy that our stuff doesn’t make us happy?    But there is joy when God meets our needs.

So if you want a practical way to help  – check out Compassion‘s website and you can sponsor a child in Ecuador or another country where there are children in need – and start sharing some of your stuff today!

P.S. You can trust Compassion  – I worked there for 10 years and we sponsor a boy in Ethiopia. 🙂