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12 September, 2010

In Australia we are blessed so much we take it for granted most of the time. When a far-too-large proportion of the world doesn’t have access to clean, safe water it really is a luxury to have unlimited amounts of clean water “on tap” in several rooms of our homes.

And that’s not even considering the objects we fill our homes with. Things we now count as necessities we considered luxuries only twenty years ago – or sometimes five years ago – and aren’t even possible to own in many places in the world.

Our lives are blessed – and sometimes cursed – with an abundance of stuff. We have more things than we know what to do with. We accumulate objects and then decide we need a bigger home to house them. And when our homes get too small again to house our possessions we rent storage units or build sheds.

However, a house full of possessions does not fill our lives. We are so much more than our possessions and sometimes our possessions make us less of who we really are as they distract us from relationships and meaningful work.

I’ve been thinking about “stuff” a lot recently – sparked by planning home decoration, friends moving overseas
and deciding what to take with them, what to leave behind and what to pass on to others, an impending church garage sale and reading some blog posts last week of a lady whose home had burnt down – they lost absolutely everything although all the occupants were safe.

Then today we learnt of an old friend’s parents’ house burning down.

It is saddening to think of everything that is lost in those situations. A lifetime of keepsakes, photos and possessions. Family heirlooms and items crafted with your own hands. It is devastating.

However, we are not our possessions. Fire cannot steal our memories. Unless it kills a person, it cannot kill our relationships. It cannot take away who we are.

I know I need to learn to hold onto my possessions more loosely. To take adequate care of them and use them wisely but to not treasure them.

Instead I need to store up “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” nor fire burn “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt 5:20-21

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