One of the things that I try to live by daily is the fact that only three things in life are eternal: God, God's Word and the souls of people.
Along with that is the idea that one day, its all gonna burn. What I mean by that is that one day, all of our material possessions will be gone. Nada. No more. And I make it my goal daily to live for those things that will be eternal, not temporary.
As as side note, I don't believe that all physical items are necessarily bad. The new earth, too will be physical, and I believe that the physical things we experience here prepare us for that future joy. Just to be clear.
But, as I mentioned before, I do believe that everything here will burn one day. And we should live in light of that. I have really experienced this reality through our move so far. As we downsize, we are giving away items that we use daily, and selling other items for pennies on what we originally paid for them. Other items are being placed in our back ally and taken by people who will just sell them for scrap metal. One example is our chicken coop, which we spent hundreds of dollars to pay for the material and Alex spent hours upon hours building. We hoped to sell it for a few hundred, but ended up giving it away to someone who disassembled it to use for the parts. We didn't get any money for it and it wont even be used as a chicken coop any more.
And sometimes its really hard to see stuff like this happen. Things that we had hope for, things that we saw being a part of our future.
But it has taken one important reality deeper: one day, its all gonna burn. ALL of our stuff will be gone. Even the small (comparatively) amount of stuff that we love and use enough to actually move with us is going to burn one day; it will all be gone. And I want to live in light of that really, truly, tangibly being true.
And on the other end of that is another important reality: all of our stuff is a gift from God. As each item goes, I think about how it came to us: some items were gifts, some (actually many!) were hand-me-downs (we like hand-me-downs!), some were garbage picked :), some were paid for from our hard-earned money, some were long sought after and hunted and finally found at garage sales and thrift stores. Everything has a story and a purpose in our household. And all these things are gifts, just for the time being, to point us to the loving hand of the Father, who provided them.
Do we need stuff? No. We are realizing that more and more as we downsize. But stuff isn't bad. We are hopeful and prayerful that God replaces a lot of it after we move.
But as with most things in life, I am sure he'll do it in a much different way than we are hoping or expecting. And that is a bit scary, but also a bit exciting. Its always an adventure to follow Jesus by faith.