In Melville, a few years back, the time would come for a showdown with my accumulated recyclables. Off I would go to Rail City to redeem cans, bottles, etc. for some pocket change. I told Ed yesterday that my room is cluttered , and it is time for me to reduce the mess or evacuate my room. I offered to Ed, for free, files of old sermons and studies on various Bible topics. I was not surprised my old neighbour suggested I burn them. Yes, I should be into a paperless existence now, but old habits die hard.
This old dog is trying to learn the tricks to reduce, recycle and reuse. When I grew up in a large farm family it was use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Somewhere, I lost my way into accumulating more than the bare necessities. The line between what I need and what I want has blurred over a lifetime. Clutter is the result of not deciding what is no longer needed and offering it to others who can use it or discarding it wisely. I don't particularly appreciate getting rid of things I might use sometime, if I can find them when I need them.
Every once in a while, I revolt at my clutter and overthrow it. It feels so perfect and liberating, but the clutter comes back like a cat that won't stay away. One of the most successful lies of the devil is that we need more. Not only can we have more, but more leads to our greater happiness. How easily we get stuck on more rather than less. Reduce, recycle, reuse, seem to offend us. One piece of pie is better with some ice cream on it. Winning a lottery of $1 million is not as good as winning $50 million. Surely being a boss is better than being a worker. Is it ever just one beer or a little weed? A little anger satisfies few, but getting even is more rewarding, or is it?
Getting more is an excellent way to get burdened and saddled with weariness. Satan appeals with a promise of more that binds and strangles us. God calls to the meek or humble to those that are child-like and willing to hear and respond to Him. Jesus points out in Matthew Chapter 11 that when John the Baptist came to the people, they were preoccupied with getting more. They ignored the need to get ready for the coming Messiah. Many dismissed John as having a demon. When Jesus came, many dismissed Him as a glutton and drunkard.
Often, we refuse to celebrate the nearness of God or to mourn death's power over us all. Thankfully, God reveals Himself through Jesus Christ His Son to the humble. The humble are those who can hear God and respond to His offer of help and strength. Jesus invites those who are willing to lay down their need to get more and reduce their lives to the rest that Jesus offers. He invites us to be yoked or teamed up with Him to give us rest and strength. Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart, and He lightens our souls.