“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

      Last week, Bri and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. We didn’t go out to dinner or do anything fancy. In fact, it seems the way that we have marked this 12th year is by finally beginning to do something we have talked about since our first year: we are going through the boxes. 

     Over twelve years and three kids, the mountain of boxes in our basement and piles pushed into closets have gotten out of control. We’re finally opening them and deciding what to do with what’s inside. We have gotten rid of a lot of things: books and clothing and long forgotten toys and stuffed animals. My proudest achievement, though, was getting rid of our old sectional sofa. It was the first grown-up piece of furniture that Bri and I bought after we got married. I had always wanted a sectional sofa; at least I thought I did. I loved that couch immensely… for about six months. Then the reality of its size relative to the size of our parsonage meant that we put that couch in storage. When we moved, it wound up in the basement, taking up space, and catching the boxes that have continued to multiply like rabbits.

    It is staggering to me how easy it is to accumulate stuff. You tell yourself you might use that thing again someday, so it sits in a box in the closet for 10 years. Or you hang on to those books because you always meant to go back and read them again, but the spine hasn’t been cracked in a dozen years. Or you keep lying to yourself about fitting into that pair of jeans again. 

     All that stuff gets treated like treasure, like priceless items that you cannot live without. But as that old couch, and my t-shirts, and the kids’ forgotten toys went out the door, space opened up in our home, and it felt as though some great weights had been lifted off of my chest.

     The things we store up, the moth and rust can and do consume them, but those things also press in on us, the exact an emotional toll that we do not realize. The more clutter we can rid ourselves of, the more space exists for family, for friends, for faith. The stuff will never fulfill us. But it is amazing how the lack of the stuff can help make us whole. 

Making room, 

Pastor Mike

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