March has come, and two McCropder homes are for sale. With this come thoughts of moving, and with this comes rising excitement. And with this move comes a process of shedding a large portion of our "things".
I may be somewhat sentimental when it comes to keepsakes, but overall (with the help of my wife) I think we have done well to minimize our focus on things. Saturday morning, we were laying in bed pondering what will find a place in the seven pieces of luggage that we're allotted to bring to Kenya for two years... Well, there are the obvious things... but the food processor will be incredibly handy... and maybe our down mattress pad... whoa, my guitar takes up a lot of space. And then there's our baby. She'll be small, but man does she take up a lot of luggage...
Let's obtain a little perspective. We heard about a Peace Corps volunteer who brought 90 pounds of toiletries. That is not us. I can get by with less clothing than any other American I've met (possibly excepting fellow McCropders), and Rachel and I together will take a single small backpack for an enire weekend.
And yet I'm forced to admit my attachment to "things". My piano, my CS Lewis books, the pottery I made in college, my awesome antique copy of The Book of Common Prayer. They will likely all stay behind. This thought broadens my horizon, and I remember that this life itself is finite, and all things will be left behind. The music I've recorded, our family photos, our wedding rings.
Paul says that he counts it all as rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus. There is no clenched fist, but a joyful casting aside, like a river rejoicing to fling itself over a waterfall, to crash on the rocks below. Jesus tells us to store up treasure in heaven, for here on earth moth and rust destroy; thieves break in and steal. He says to put our treasures in a safe place, away from these destructive elements, and our hearts will then be safe as well.
This is true, universally, but I earnestly need the reminder, for the rubber is meeting the road. I wish I could say that it is easy. I wish I could say that my treasure is not on earth, for that has serious implications for the place of my heart. But honest acknowledgement is a necessary beginning, and so I know I need help. Thanks be to God, my ever-present help.