Sometimes, when the garage doors are open, you can see tiny little pathways wandering through the "stuff" piled floor to ceiling. And, this is happening in houses with full basements and 3-4 bedrooms.
At this time of year, with commercialism running amok and the government asking us to bail out the economy again by going deeper into debt, I wonder where all this new junk is going to go.
Fifty years ago, the idea that a family would have a storage POD sitting next to their house filled with stuff they no longer use, would have been ridiculous. The dump or collectors would have made off with most of it. Toys and clothes and furniture were handed down.
I struggle with this side of America daily after living in Sudan, a country where what one owns is really minimal. Consumerism may be there, but it is not for everyone.
I have signed up for two minute readings during Advent, something offered by CREDO.
Saturday's reading follows below:
One of the advantages of age, at least as I am experiencing it, is that stuff doesn't matter nearly so much as I once thought, indeed, as I was reared to value it. Perhaps the great sin of
relative affluence is the urge to hoard, to hold on tight if not to acquire more, telling ourselves that prudence like ours could never be greed. I haven't achieved Jesus' standard of material austerity yet, but I'm working on it.
A few years ago it was a real pleasure to dump my grandmother's twelve-place setting of elegant china on my elder daughter. She got more than she bargained for, but she hasn't realized it yet. I'd dragged it around for fifty years without realizing what a burden it was. It couldn't go in the dishwasher, and when would I ever have twelve people trying to sit down at a table, which comfortably seats four?
Harder still is letting go of the invisible, intangible impedimenta like envy, arrogance, neediness, and fear. Some of them are troubling, some of them feed my ego, some of are there just because that's where they have always been. If you drag them with you long enough, you forget how heavy they are. You forget how to run, how to skip, even to walk briskly. Eventually you even forget what it might be like to walk unimpeded. I comfort myself with the imperfection of the twelve. Like the rest of us, they too remained works in progress to the very end. Maybe I have just one more walk. Everything has been practice up to now.
Walking Home: From Eden to Emmaus