Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Possessions

So, we've been living out of a suitcase for the last month and a half or two.  We spent the first month wandering the Northwest in a little Dodge Neon, visiting friends and family, and camping for a week.  The rest of the time we've been in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, carrying with us only what can fit in one backpacking pack and one normal school backpack.  Basically, that means 2 pairs of pants , 3 shirts, 3 pairs of underwear each, a small toiletry kit (no make-up or hair products, of course),  and a journal/notebook and Spanish dictionary each.

We've noticed rather quickly that we haven't really missed much.  Out of our houseful of possessions, we haven't really needed anything that we don't have with us.  We've been married for five years now, and have collected quite a few things.  Lots of clothes, tons of kitchen supplies, computers, DVD's, CD's other various electronic equipment, what is now becoming a library of books, outdoor gear, bicycles, etc., etc. , etc.  How much of it is needed?  Not much.  How many of the possessions that I lust after do I really need?  Not many.

Since we've been in Guatemala, I've been bombarded with the scripture (from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, I think, but I don't have a Bible here so I can't check) about: "Look at the birds of the air.  They neither sow nor reap, but God provides for them." ... or something to that effect.  The point is that we really don't need as much as we think we do.  Especially those of us who are Americans and are consuming at a rate unprecedented in history.  Greed is indeed the American sin.  I'm not saying that I'm good at giving up possessions.  I'm not.  I hold on to them even far beyond their usefulness to me.  What I am saying is that I've found liberation in the time that I've had to get by with less.  Consider it for yourself.  Consider giving up some of the mammon that shackles your heart and weighs down your life.  I'll try too.  I have a feeling that we'll be happy we did.  And I think that most likely, what we really need will still be provided.

Having said that, I'm still looking forward to getting home to a hot shower and a few of my favorite books.

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