Sunday, February 15, 2009


I am spending this evening cleaning my closet. It's a parallel exercise with cleaning out my thought life, as well. I'm trying to get rid of the things that don't fit me anymore, belonged to a different time of my life, and that aren't really items I'd like to take with me.

I have way too much stuff.

I sit surrounded by piles of t-shirts, skirts, and pants that I forgot I ever had. I have duplicates! I have near-duplicates! How much stuff can one body wear at once? I'm feeling convicted as my head is increasingly filled with contradictory visions of my life--

One vision has me, with my backpack that holds a month's worth of worldly goods, contentedly skimming the surface of the earth with a few shirts and forgetting that I ever needed more.

The other vision has me wearing the beautiful dresses I always crave, going to fancy places and laughing lightly at things that aren't really real, but are as tempting and transient as cotton candy.

I don't need all these clothes, I don't need so much of what I have and I am tired of the self-absorbed rants that my bank account brings out in me. I'm reminded of the Sermon on the Mount, and especially am moved by the Message translation of 6:25-29;

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. "

I crave a life of simplicity even as I seem to accumulate more than I need or can even use. How much is too much?

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