Hey there! Hope y’all are doing great today! I’m in a really good mood. So, grab your favorite drink and a comfy place to relax a minute.
It’s a gorgeous fall day today as I write, even though I won’t post this until mid-December. The sun is shining, the trees are turning, the temps are cool. Perfect! So, we all know what’s just around the corner – the stores have been getting ready for months already. Yep, only a few more shopping or shipping days until Christmas. Time to buy more ‘stuff’ for everybody. As I look around my house, I think I don’t want more ‘stuff’. I want something more this year…
One of the things I’ve been working hard on all year is getting a little less attached to all the stuff in my life. I mean, everything. It’s called detachment, and once we get there it’s very freeing!
How much time do we spend working our tails off so we can have that ‘thing’ we just can’t live without? That new phone, that new car, that new TV, that new boat, whatever is the latest and greatest in the things you own or admire. And then, once we get the ‘latest and greatest’ how long does the good feeling last? How quickly does my heart feel empty again, looking for something else to fill me up?
What’s on your Christmas list, and how long is it? Does it seem to get more expensive every year, too? Clothes, jewelry, electronics. Gift certificates to expensive restaurants.
Detachment doesn’t necessarily mean we give it all away. But it means we recognize it’s a gift, on loan from the Lord. He certainly wants us to enjoy the things He gives us. At the same time, we have to be willing to share them freely, or let them go if He has something else in mind. Over the summer, I went through quite a detachment process. I had an opportunity to move out of my house into a spiritual community as a live in member. In order to do that, I was going to have to deal with lots of things – my house, my furniture, my antiques, even my dog could not come with me. It took some tears and some desperate prayer to reach that place of detachment. I didn’t end up moving; but the process was very good for me! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I sure didn’t do it perfectly. I’m no super saint. Someplace along the line, though, I gained a ton of freedom.
One of the things that really surprised me was how hard it was to get rid of most of my fabric stash. It was easier to plan to send my beloved Sadie dog to my BFF, than to part with those boxes of fabric I had been basically hoarding for years. I really had to pray over that one, begging the Lord to pry my fingers loose. I gave it to a friend who does lots of charity sewing. But it still hurt. A lot. Paring down my library was also a little difficult. There are still lots of ‘things’ I need to weed through. All the stuff just keeps accumulating. I need to go through closets, boxes, the garage, the basement. There is no security in having all these things. My security, my comfort and my joy should be in the Lord. That’s what I truly want; nothing else can give me what He can.
Maybe that’s part of the spirit of Advent – letting go of the things of this world and reaching up to take His hand more firmly, now that our hand is not full of ‘stuff’. And maybe it’s not just material ‘stuff’ we need to let go. Maybe it’s emotional stuff – anger, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, any sort of ill-will toward someone else. Maybe we resent that their life seems so easy and ours seems so difficult in some way.
We’ve mentioned the advent wreath, candles and prayer in our discussions this month. I mentioned at the beginning that we can be bold. Why not take some time and get quiet and still, maybe light a candle or two on the wreath and let Him show you where you need to detach from things. I promise you He will not ask you to give up anything that is good for you. He always has our best in mind.
If you need a little courage or support in this, you can always talk with a pastor or priest. They love to help folks draw away from the world and closer to the Lord in whatever manner He is asking.
Let’s truly celebrate Advent. Let’s clear out the ‘stuff’ and prepare the way of the Lord in our hearts.