It’s amazing how much stuff one can collect in 10 years in one office – 15 years in one appointment.
Last week I finished my time at Pine Valley UMC by packing up my office and bringing it all home to my garage. (Of course, now my two-car garage is a one-half car garage.)
Someone asked me if I had purged my office. Uh, yes. At least a “ton” of paper in the recycle bin or shredded. Three boxes of books donated to the Conference Media Center. Another 3 boxes will soon go to the Rescue Mission. Some of my treasures were given to folks and I’m working on at least another two boxes for the UMW yard sale.
Where did I get all of this stuff ???
I will admit I have this thing for books. More is better. Maybe it makes me feel more intelligent. Maybe I fear that by NOT finishing a book I have somehow failed. So I hold on to it – just in case I finish it. Maybe I need to realize that I will not meet the goal of reading all of the books that I was SUPPOSED to read in seminary. (Note: this May is the 25th anniversary of my graduation from Duke Divinity School.)
The question: what do I really need?
In the midst of this cleaning out, purging, finding a new spot for my things, I’ve thought about simplicity. The pattern for me is usually buying more storage bins to store more stuff. Maybe I should just rent another self-storage unit!
Simplicity. It’s not just our physical stuff. We carry around all sorts of emotional stuff – never getting rid of the clutter that overwhelms us. We just take on more and more, pushing emotions deeper and deeper.
Maybe what we all need – wait, what I need – is a cleaning out of the emotional stuff, not just the physical clutter of my life. Are there resentments that I’ve packed up and stored for future use? Are there hurts that have never healed – just have been “band-aided” with dust?
I remember the words of a PVUMC saint who told me near the end of his life: “Trish, everything gets a lot simpler at the end.”
Wise words – but there’s no need to wait until the end. Right, Roy?