Spiritual Writing

“Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.” Luke 9:3

I got rid of almost everything that I owned.  I sold clothes, dishes, furniture, whatever I could get my hands on.  I had gone mad.  I even put my cars up for sell.  Successfully selling one of them.

Looking back now I can see why my co-workers thought I needed an intervention.

In 3 months I went from having enough stuff to fill a 3 bedroom house, dining room and two car garage; to downsizing to a 500 square foot one bedroom apartment, with no dining room and a small storage area.

From duty station to duty station, I packed up more boxes that I would never unpack.  I kept buying new items that would look better in each new place, because each new apartment or house was different.  Or, I simply forgot what I had at the last home so I repurchased the item instead of looking for it.

When I made the decision to move into a one bedroom apartment in September 2016, for financial reasons, I became overwhelmed with the thought of having to pack and unpack everything myself, and  having to find a storage unit and pay for movers to move stuff I didn’t need.  It seemed easier to just give it away.

The first item to go was the dining room table.  I’m not sure why I choose that first, maybe it just sold faster.  When I sold it, I expected to be sad.  I had that dining room table since 2009 when I came back from Iraq.  I actually prepared myself to feel this rush of emotions.  Those emotions never came.  I never felt anything.  It was a dining room table and I could always replace it.  Once I realized that stuff was just stuff, everything started flying out the doors.

I even gave away the dog.  It wasn’t a decision I am proud of and I still miss my Jewelz to this day.  I know she is happy though.  She deserved more than the little bit of time after work I gave her.  Now she is with a nice family and she has a backyard.  I tell myself she doesn’t miss me and that she is happy.  I pray that is true.

In  2017 a pastor preached a sermon about keeping it simple.  I don’t remember who the pastor was, but that sermon stuck with me.  The pastor referenced the bible verse Luke 9:3.  Jesus was addressing the disciples when he told them to take nothing with them.  It would only slow them down and become a distraction.   I realized that all the stuff I had accumulated was just a distraction.  The idea of storing and cleaning all of that stuff distracted me.  It took me a whole Saturday to clean that house by myself, and I took shortcuts.  A whole day off work being distracted by stuff.  I lived in that house for three years, for three years I spent one day each week distracted by stuff.

Almost two years later I still feel light from the lack of having so much stuff.  I continue to purge my belongings monthly, to ensure that I don’t fall back into my old ways.  Not only do I purge my stuff, but I am also continuously purging my life.  Emotions can also become a distraction.  If an emotion is unbecoming of who I am trying to be I avoid it.  The emotions I am referring to are offended, bitter, shame, guilt and all those other negative emotions that distract us from the goals we set out to achieve.

I refuse to once again allow myself to become distracted by stuff and emotions.  I am determined to live a focused life!

8 thoughts on ““Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.” Luke 9:3”

  1. Simplicity breathes life into every soul weighed down by earthly distractions and helps us to see more clearly that our reliance is on our creator not material goods. I applaud your actions and will let them inspire me in my own journey of recognizing what true riches are. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just moved to a new home and I did the same thing. Wow! That was hard to do. I suddenly wanted to keep everything even after I admitted to myself that I never used it. In my mind I had all of the “what if?” kind of thoughts. What if I need this tomorrow? But, after four loads of stuff to the Thrift Store, I can breathe easier. Now, 5 months later, I don’t miss any of it!
    You are right when you speak of how empowering and freeing it feels to purge out stuff. Thanks for sharing.
    I like your blog. It’s nicely designed and well written.

    Liked by 1 person

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