Sunday, November 27, 2016

Possessed by Possessions

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.

Luke 12:16-21

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.”

My goal to let go of sentimental attachments to things in order to live with greater simplicity, thus freeing up time and energy to build rich relationships with others. I lifted this meme from my aunt's Facebook page because it is so true!


  1. Hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. I passed on a couple of good shirts to a second hand shop. Sue thought that I didn't like them. I did but I have more than enough shirts.

  3. Ruth--I have for years belonged to a recycling group called Freecycle. (There are such groups in many places). You may know of it--but the basic idea is giving or receiving items for FREE. For my own "fun" I have kept a list of all items we have given away--the list now stands at 350 items. They range all the way from clothing, to a bedroom suite, to furnace filters (because we got a new furnace with different size filters) to toys outgrown by our children.
    I have never gotten anything through from the group...I don't need anything.
    While I still think we have too much "stuff"--I do so revel in the recycling aspect of Freecycle.
    So I applaud your efforts.
    And here's wishing you a blessed Advent season and Christmas.


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