Before I dive in to this post, if you’ve read my blog and looked at timestamps, you’ll notice that there’s been a lull in my writing. It’s not for a lack of ideas. I was on vacation, then dealt with the busyness of the return from vacation. On top of that, I’ve been focused on creating a podcast for Church musicians, called The Healthy Church Musician podcast. Now that things have settled down, I’m going to get more in a routine of writing and my goal is to have a post up on Tuesday and Friday each week.
In our worship service this past Sunday, we looked at the 10th chapter of Mark. We’ve been going through the Gospel of Mark in our services. But there was something about this section of Scripture that jumped out at me. And it was in verses 17-31. It’s the story of the rich young ruler who comes to Jesus and asks what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminds this young ruler about the commandments, to which the ruler responds that yes, he has kept those. Jesus doesn’t argue with him about this, but says, “One thing you lack...go sell everything you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” This young ruler couldn’t do it. Was because he was rich? Somewhat. It wasn’t the things (or lack of it) that caused the issue. It was the relationship and value placed on the things. Jesus and His disciples traveled regularly. They didn’t have much and they relied on the love and generosity of others. They trusted in the provision of God. It seems that this rich young ruler didn’t want to or couldn’t do these things. So Jesus told him that one thing was lacking.
So let’s fast forward to today. As a Christian, I trust in God, but....the reality is that there are plenty of times that I focus more on my wants, my needs as opposed to the needs and care of others around me. I allow stuff and things to get in the way of what’s most important to me. In the end, whatever I collect or own on earth will just go to someone else when I die. It’s not that important. But yet, for whatever reason, I seem to think from time to time that it does matter and collecting and owning these things are important. I’m moving away from that mindset more and more, but I find myself returning occasionally to thinking that stuff matters.
What’s the takeaway from all of this? Are we supposed to just sell all of our stuff and live on the streets? Of course not! But, it is definitely a step toward evaluating what our belongings and “possessions” really mean to us. That’s the thing with minimalism. As I’ve walked down this road, I’ve seen many struggle with the “what are the rules” question. And really, to each person, the rules will be different. Over the past 8 months or so, we’ve definitely gotten rid of a lot of things in our house. Looking forward, I’d hope that we would continue to do that as a family and continue in that mindset. It’s hard, it takes lots of work, but I’ve found it to be freeing, encouraging and extremely valuable. I hope that you’re encouraged and challenged to look at your stuff and your attitude and relationship toward it and determine what the best course of action is for you.