Time to get serious. The WGR class topic of “Appetites, Addictions, and Affections” is really challenging me about why do we want what we want? And why are we rarely satisfied with what we want?
You can watch the classes online for these revelations about desire gone awry and its rescue. But for a sobering affect, I am sharing this photo from one of my summer cleansings.
66. Actually 66 pairs of shoes. There’s a good excuse or story about each pair. Sure some of them are old. Sure some of them are “special occasion” only. Some were from Goodwill, some were gifts. But stilll…66 pairs of shoes? Really?
I made myself pull them all out on the floor and look at them. It was gross. It was excessive. It was gluttony of a different kind. I had a flashback to high school when I had only four pairs of shoes. I had a flashback to my Zimbabwe trip in 2010 when the children and adults had No pairs.
I want to share part of my personal mandate. It was a holy moment when Jesus whispered a secret in my ear of where we were going together. (Only in part you understand, He rarely gives us full detail.) And after a moment of incredulous joy I took a deep breath and said, “Wow, how are we going to that?”
“You must reorder your life,” He said.
That was in December 2011. And in the last 13 months He has continued to refocus my energies and attentions. He has brought books about simplifying, fasting, and letting go. He’s revealed moments of just how deep the affection for “more” really is in my heart. One moment was while we were on vacation. The beach condo we stayed at had a wickedly beautiful walk-in closet. Chuck and I walked in and giggled, “Yeah baby, how about this?” “This is what I need,” I said. “I hate how small our closets are at home.” I have an ongoing battle with my clothes being hung and put away, therefore clothes are often in piles on the floor.
Fast forward a couple of weeks through times with the Lord and some very pointed books about excess. I stood in front of my small but sufficient walk-in closet and I said out loud to the Lord, “How about I get rid of enough clothes to fit in my closet instead wanting a bigger closet for more clothes?” I felt Him nod in happy agreement. Hence the reason my floor was covered in shoes.
Does it sound noble that I whittled my collection down to 33 pairs? Can I actually stomach the thought of that many pairs of shoes even though some of them are only worn once or twice a year? This is just one area of balancing that I am going after.
Here is what I am doing. You are welcome to join me. I am flushing my excess throughout my whole life. We swept our bedrooms, including the girls’ rooms. If I don’t curb my “more” appetites, how will they learn they don’t “need” every toy, shirt, shoe, and stuff, stuff, stuff. They are so much happier now that there is room for “them” in their room, instead of their stuff. Then there are the books, our junk piles, my food choices. (Perhaps, just perhaps, Starbucks and Diet Coke is not a constitutional right.)
I asked a ministry that serves the homeless if they would take our clothes. “Gladly, the homeless wear coats all year long,” she said. I put two coats in the box and was thankful and humbled that I had so many to choose from.
Here is the bottom line. God is asking me, and maybe you, to slough off those “things” that require our time. What do I spend time doing? Is it really necessary? If I didn’t have that, would I live? Would I have more time? more space to think? more energy to be with Him?
Not a hermit mindset, but a free one. More is really attainable. But it probably starts with less.
You can watch the WGR class topic of “Appetites, Addictions, and Affections.” online for more revelations about true freedom.