“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:19-21
Ever since Rebekah retired – August 1 – two seemingly unrelated streams of activity have been happening. First, the purging of so much stuff. Then, an uptick of investment in things like health, travel, learning, and relationships.
The declutter focus started back in June, when we realized that Rebekah would no longer have a spacious church office for all her books, files, vestments, memorabilia, furniture, etcetera. Our decision to downsize our house when we moved to Wake Forest suddenly didn’t look like such a great idea any more!
So we changed our dining room into Rebekah’s study, while simultaneously giving away 75% of her stuff. We thinned out my office too, then just kept the ball rolling throughout the house with books, clothes, old files, furniture, and more.
Christmas opened the door for thinning out the decorations, and then – while we were in the attic – we started on some of the detritus there too.
By the time it was over (well, not so much over as on hold while we catch our breath) I was making donations then running in case Goodwill and Habitat ReStore tried to make me take it all home again!
The other side of the coin:
It wasn’t until this week that I noticed the relationship between The Purge and what I now see as “The other side of the coin.”
Rebekah came home with the new glasses she had been needing for some time. She looked great, of course, but she also said there was a new clarity to the way she could see.
What is the use of possessions – all that “stuff” we’ve been sifting through and giving away – I thought, if we can’t even see clearly? Then I began to think about where our treasures are, what our treasures are, and how we are beginning to reshape – reframe – what we are investing in as this new post-career, post-salary, time of our lives comes into focus.
It is all about things like new glasses, improved diet, more exercise, trips to see the grandchildren, time for ukulele lessons, photography classes, reading, more time for family devotions at breakfast – and a whole host of things that will add clarity rather than clutter to our lives, balance rather than ballast, joy rather than junk, growth in spirit rather than growth in surplus, and investment in purpose rather than investment in possessions.
Open my eyes that I may seeClara H. Scott, 1895
glimpses of truth thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me,