Advent is here again, already, so soon. It is hard to concentrate on a season of waiting when we are so busy that each week seems to pass as quickly as a day. The city streets were congested today with shoppers rushing about to snap up Black Friday weekend deals.
We went for a walk in the woods and even though the dog became mired in a muddy bog shortly after this picture was taken, nature was nurturing and relaxing.
I am not buying or receiving Christmas gifts this year and it was liberating to make that decision. I want to focus on spending unhurried time with people, over a meal, at a seasonal event, outdoors or indoors, without the obligation of gift-giving and reciprocation. There is nothing wrong with gifts. I just prefer to spread the giving over the year, spontaneously or when there is a need.
I participated in a November minimalism challenge where you get rid of one item on the 1st of the month, two on the second, three on the third and so on. By the end of the month over 400 items should be gone from your home. I had no problem finding things to give or throw away. Sadly, it is not readily evident that I have completed the challenge as we still have so many belongings. I need to do this for a year! The effort required to look after so many “things” is time consuming and tiring.
Jesus’ life on earth was not about accumulating possessions but rather, nurturing meaningful relationships with God and others. In a parable he warned about possessing more than we need.
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”