10 July 2010

Garage Sale for God's Glory

Two years have passed since the last garage sale endeavor of my mother's and I. Not quite enough time to forget the pain, annoyance, and work involved in having a sale but the stuffeth over floweth, so a sale will be had. My brother moved to New York City last week and left everything he didn't want or need (e.g., dishes, pans, etc.) with my parents to deal with, including a vehicle and a townhouse - anyone need a 4Runner and a garage in Beaverton to park it in? I keep a container in the garage that is my designated donation box. The past year I've been saving it up for a garage sale. When Janelle was up visiting over Memorial Day, she helped me purge the stuff in my garage. The box is now heaped and other boxes have been pressed into service. Unfortunately I am on my own to purge the rest of the house. It won't be very thorough, it's not as if I am moving to NYC into a teeny shared apartment, so why bother? Why, indeed. Because of God's glory.

Having a garage sale for God's glory may seem rather strange. If our purpose as Christians is to bring God glory, it requires us to be refined and purified from those things that detract us from this goal. We need to remove whatever idols and little gods we have in our lives which dilute our passion and effectiveness. Like a professional athlete who trains with diligence, perseverance and determination to receive glory in their sport; likewise, Christians should be training too for God's glory. We are in a battle, we need to be fit warriors.

Still wondering how a garage sale fits into the picture? I live in America, a culture known for it's consumerism. We are consumed with having stuff. This does not bring God glory and traps our heart. Stuff in itself is not bad. A couch is a comfortable spot to sit and write my random thoughts on this blog. Some stuff is necessary, even nomadic tribes and ascetic monks have some stuff. But what happens when a single person has too much stuff? They get comfortable, sated, complacent, immovable. Being comfortable and content isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when that is valued more or keeps a person from following God's leading it isn't a healthy place to be. I recognize that I am getting closer to that line than I would like; my comfortableness is making me uncomfortable.

As I talked with a friend last night, sharing a budding idea about moving, she asked in dismay, "You have such a great home. You would give up all of this?" I realize it is a very un-American attitude to think of selling my home, most of my possessions, pick up roots. Yet I don't want to be so comfortable that when God says, "Go!" that I stammer with excuses of being comfortable, settled, and unable to obey. My answer to the question from my friend, "You would giver up all of this?" was - "Absolutely." A conviction doesn't mean it will be done easily. I have many fine things that I inherited from my paternal grandmother, items I have never once used - they don't fit my lifestyle, but they are my connection to grandparents I hardly knew, a substitute for the relationship that wasn't there. I also have items from my maternal grandmother, not quite as fine but greater treasures because of the dear relationship with my grandparents. Passing these things along will not be easy, heart-wrenching actually as I have made them a substitute for the person they represent. Since I am not moving imminently, those items will be held on to for a little longer. I want to use the gold filigree Wedgewood demitasse cups at least once before I sell them.

Many other things have no connection to relatives that are just taking up space and weighing me down. Taking inspiration and a cue from my brother, I'm starting a purging process. Making room for something new in my life. Ironically, my new House Beautiful magazine arrived this weekend and the theme is 'small living' and each article talks about paring down to the essentials, small spaces needing to be uncluttered. How nice of God to send me another source of inspiration and instructions. I better wrap this up, I've got work to do!

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