Pastor's Blog
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March 26, 2015, 7:00 PM

Are You "Stuffocated?"

Who do you turn to for advice – about life, about work, about relationships, about money about ______ ?

I am blessed to call several people in my life “mentors” - people I turn to often for help with things like the issues above. One of them – Dr. Brian Bauknight – writes and distributes a monthly email to a list of clergy, and I am fortunate to be on his list. The latest edition of Shared Thoughts from Shared Acres arrived in my inbox a couple days ago. The title? Simpler Living? In this email Brian cites an article in a recent issue of TIME magazine focused on our “seemingly relentless accumulation of stuff.”  Brian writes:

How many garages are full of so many accumulated possessions that we can no longer put a car or cars inside? How many dining room tables are piled so high that we can no longer invite guests into our homes to share a meal? Then add the external storage facilities. The TIME article writer says that 48,500 storage facilities now exist in the U.S. – “outnumbering all the McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger Kings and Starbucks put together.”… Professional organizers now comprise a booming business helping (for a fee, of course) downsizing baby boomers dealing with a lifetime worth of stuff. Junk hauling businesses are flourishing. One person names our condition “hyperaquisition.” One book entitles the condition “Stuffocation.”

I read Brian’s email the same day I heard Bishop Tom Bickerton quote Thomas Merton – the insightful Catholic mystic – who said, “Everything you need in your life is already there.” These two combined have caused me to think more intensively about the stuff in my life. I am often times enticed by the latest piece of technology, or fishing accessory, or motor vehicle, or ministry strategy, or ___________. I hear the marketing promise the life altering impact this new thing will have on my living, and I respond like a thirsty man who finds a cool mountain stream. Drawing from 31 years of ministry experience, I know I’m not alone. J

We all seem drawn to the newest and the latest that suggests life will be incomplete without this particular “thing.” And so we pull money from savings, or from necessities, or break out “the plastic” to acquire what promises to completely change our lives like nothing else can. What happens to those purchases? Well, they are often quickly discarded because the newest and the latest thing that will change our lives like nothing else can arrives. The new becomes the old and ends up in an already packed full garage, or on a stacked high dining room table…….all in the blink of an eye.

Maybe that’s why Jesus – who knows humanity oh so well – said: “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving… Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:30-33, The Message).

Think on these things, and remember…

Keep Lookin’ Up!
Pastor D.


03-28-2015 at 9:05 AM
Katie Aaron
I often we got to where we are. It takes time and money to mange all our "Stuff". That wonderful gift of CHOICE can put a lot of burden on us. What is important to one person may mean nothing to someone else. Discernment through prayer is available to us all the time...we don't have to order it... it is free and we don't even have to store it. What a deal! Allow God to be in charge. Don't forget to ask for His direction to help us keep our lives SIMPLE.
Thanks for the reminder on THIS aspect of our lives...STUFF.
03-27-2015 at 9:12 AM
Pat Mann
One of my favorite verses that Jesus said is: Matt 6:33, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Jesus also said, He will provide what's necessary, food, clothing & shelter. Which makes me think of the cliche, "only what's done for God matters."
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