Sunday, 1 January 2017

When hoarding becomes a thing - how to let go

I've been like that spoilt child you see in the store. That one that throws himself on the floor, kicking and screaming because he isn't getting his way. I decided I was not to be moved. So I kinda stopped writing. I just wanted to write what came to mind, God wanted to do something decidedly different. I threw a tantrum but I never ever learn...God...well...he always wins.

Funny, when you find yourself outside of the will of God..things go awry. God and I haven't spoken that much, I haven't spent as much time with him as I should. I was throwing a tantrum you see. And God was looking down at me like those embarrassed parents do. He wasn't arguing or reasoning with me though; he was just waiting on me to stop and get back up.

So what's that new direction?

He wants me to compare things. Compare things?... Exactly! Not just his word with the world. I did not want to do that, I thought it slightly redundant. Everybody knows that the Word of God is in contradiction to the why should I write about that? Plus..that really would take up many more hours in study than I believe I have the time… I wasn't doing that!

The more I stood in opposition to his leading is the less I wrote; it was the less I felt compelled to write, even though I constantly thought about writing on this blog.
Tantrums make eyes wet, ears hardened and mouths loud.
Tantrums make writing difficult.

I needed to write. It haunted me. I do suppose Jonah felt like this as he bunkered down on that ship, running in place, haunted by God's words. He said..throw me overboard and the storm will stop. I would rather perish than be obedient.

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

I relent. I know not what he does but he will have his way in me and I write about the things I see in his word vs. the world.

And so it begins.

I consider myself the creative type, I like to make charts for my class, and teaching allows me to express myself that way. So whenever I go somewhere and see things..I take them home. I saw a meme on Facebook recently that read..” I collect things and will keep them, just in case I'll use them in the next 462 years.”...I laughed so hard, cause..that was so me. I'm a hoarder.

I don't much like the term ‘ hoarder', it sounds kind of vulgar, makes it sound like a bad thing almost. So I prefer to say, I collect things that I just know I can use someday, and when that idea comes to me how to use that ‘ thing' I feel completely justified with my 'collection’ habit. I also hang on to other things too, like empty bottles that I'm sure I will use, and old note books from high school, college and university, old clothes that I am certain will fit when I lose that 30 or so pounds and I even have a collection of markers that don't write anymore. But, don't, please do not get me confused with those persons you see on that TV show whose houses are so filled with 'stuff’ that they can't even move freely. No, I'm not there. I'm a collector, they are hoarders. The things I keep actually have some use and will come in handy as soon as my ideas kick in!

There are a few times a year that I actually do some kind of ‘ spring cleaning' and throw some of the things away, reluctantly so, but when I do, there is such a sense of relief, but I really only throw those things out to make way for some new 'collectibles’, if I am to be totally honest.

So, when I had to look at comparisons, I had to take a hard look at me.

Collecting things that you might have use for in the future does a thing to your present.

Our world tells us we always are in need of more 'stuff’, it promotes a DIY culture that justifies ‘collecting’ habits.
Our world tells us to hold onto things for nostalgic reasons.
Our world tells us to have ‘ treasures’ right here on earth, after all, we deserve it.  
Our world tells us to hold onto our past, for if we let it go, we will be somehow disconnected from who we are.

We must hoard, I mean...collect.things.

Yes, Jesus wanted me to compare things. I had hoped it was things that I saw in the world and not things that I actually did. Mirror to face!

Hoarding does this one thing. It says God's blessings and provisions are not new.every.morning.
It says,

I do not want to tell that lie.

The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore, I shall hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:24

As simple as it is, if I collect things in hopes of using them for my ‘greatest idea ever’, it is saying to my God that he won't supply my needs according to his riches in glory in that moment. If all good things come from Him, including ‘great ideas’ why wouldn't he provide all the things needed?... He never does half a job..does He?

Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

It is saying that I am self sufficient, a forward thinker even, I have saved something for my present from my past. How cool am I right?

The thing about physical hoarding is it also gives way to spiritual hoarding.
The things we keep in our spirits because we can't let them go. Hoarding.
That pain we keep, that doesn't allow us to forgive. Hoarding.
That mountain top moment we relish that doesn't allow us to climb higher. Hoarding. That one time when we were able to complete a fast but get stuck in that glory moment that we don't do another.Hoarding. That time when we allow our fears to cripple us because we gave in to the enemy. Hoarding.
We inadvertently keep things that we should let go of in order to grow.

Do you know what keeping empty bottles and papers and just stuff does? It prevents you from getting the things you actually need. Mentally, you are telling yourself you actually have that thing already, when all you have are empty bottles, papers with holes and a whole lot of useless stuff.

But some of us like the illusion of having lots of stuff.

For the world tells us that the more ‘ 'stuff' we collect or have, is the more successful we are. So imagine, going through your own home, and throwing out all the empties, all the paper, all the clothes that don't fit, all the old letters from boyfriend's past, all the things in the garage that you haven't used in a year. Just imagine, for a moment how many bags and bags of ‘stuff' you would have...that was just nothing but garbage!

Now..look..forward, at the seemingly emptiness that remains. Scary isn't it? Now you realise that where you thought you had ten bottles of perfume, you have one. Where you thought you had learning resources you could fall back on just in case the internet dies.. have nothing. Where you thought you had a closet filled with clothes, you actually have about four solid outfits. Where you thought you had a working grill, you have an old rusty tin pan. Where you thought you were keeping boyfriend memories, you were actually closing off yourself from being truly loved by someone else.

Do you feel the emptiness? Is it a good feeling? Do you feel now the need to replace the emptiness with more ‘stuff’?

You already have all you need right in that moment, right in that empty place.

God can fill empty cups to the point of  overflow….

….. but if the cup is already overflowing with your 'stuff’...wherewith shall it be filled?

I am by no means promoting a minimalist lifestyle, having less 'stuff’ doesn't automatically mean you have more God.

I am just asking us to let our lives, homes, hearts, minds, tongues be filled with more God. If you are going to hoard, hoard some more of him. He can fill empty vessels, not ones full and overflowing with the stuff of this world.

If you have fallen victim to that hoarding culture, where you need all the things for yourself, there's a huge chance, you aren't giving as much as you could or should. As Christians, we are called to give.

I recently saw some videos of door buster sales on black Friday, I saw people trampling, fighting and running into stores in order to fill the need for more stuff, that more than likely, they don't need. It struck me as so sad, the day after ‘ giving thanks’ for all that we had to the person that gives us all good gifts- people still felt the urge to trample over feet to get that one.more.thing. when will it ever be enough? Will we ever have enough? What will quench the need for more?

So comparison lessons #1.

  1. Do not hoard stuff for future use- God is in your future, He already has the things you will need.
  2. Hoarding tells God his blessings aren't sufficient for you
  3. DIY culture says you don't need God because you they say do it yourself
  4. Do not fill your life with more stuff...fill your life with more God
  5. Physical hoarding can easily give way to spiritual hoarding
  6. Let go and let God.

And what's the point of hoarding anyways? If the owner of the house knew when the thief was going to come, he would have stood watch. We never can know just when the thief will come to take away All the things we have collected over the years.

That 'collection’ habit I have….that hoarding habit I have, I am slowly speaking to it, every time I see something I'm sure I'll need…. I bin it and then I smile - just a little. Learning = change.


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