January 6 –Simplicity
Read: 1 Timothy 6:8-9
One of my favorite places to be is Interfaith Sanctuary, a homeless shelter that accepts all sorts of people...drunken, disorderly, and destitute...no questions asked, no requirements made. Here, I can hang out with my friend Bob, a sweet and kind gentleman in his 60's who is always up for a good conversation. His life lacks the clutter of yard work, mounds of laundry, and the rising price of gasoline. Bob once told me that he feels called to live at Interfaith Sanctuary, with so many people to love and minister to.
One of our NWYM queries asks of us, "Are you free from the burden of unnecessary possessions? Do you refuse to let the prevailing culture and media dictate your needs and values?" I think of the allure of camping, where I can spend all morning just sitting by the campfire. When I am in my house, I could spend all morning sitting next to my fireplace, but I find that I can't just sit still when there's vacuuming to be done, the cat box needs emptied, toys are strewn about... And here is where the "burden of unnecessary possessions" starts to take over our lives, where we have to go on vacation, away from our possessions, in order to relax. Possessions can truly be a burden when they take up so much of our time and space, making peace fleeting.
Sometimes I feel like I have been brainwashed by American culture, where we our encouraged to do our patriotic duty and consume things. If my income increases, perhaps I should spend more on helping people rather than on getting more stuff. Maybe I can take a lesson from Bob: all of his worldly possessions fit in bunk #23, surrounded by 80 other men...and he has found peace.
Lord, help me to realize that my time, talents, and resources are not my own, and to give my best to meet the needs of others, in your name.