Over the course of our adult lives Barbara and I have moved more times than we care to remember. Yet only when we retired did the moving become problematic. Leaving a very large church-owned home in Rhode Island to several much smaller homes in California brought us face to face with “downsizing”: What to retain, what to sell, what to give away and what to take to the landfill.
The real pain in downsizing was the unhappy discovery of what a pack-rat I had become over sixty-some years, the discovery of how acquisitive I have been, the discovery of how dependent I had become on things - elevating them almost to the status of persons.
I learned early on that our children don’t really belong to us, but to God. We have them only on loan for a time – to be loved, cared for and ultimately to be sent out to find their own ways in life.
The downsizing reminded me once move of the Psalmist’s admonition: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and all who dwell therein.”
If, in the light of biblical faith, we have no absolute claim to sovereignty over anything, even our most intimate and personal “possessions”: our families, how then can we presume to claim absolute ownership over anything which is less intimately related to us? To be sure, ‘ownership’ is permissible, but only as we hold ourselves accountable to God for our stewardship of that which we claim.
Our management can be for good or ill, to the end of extending the Grace of God or neglecting those whom God would entrust to our care. This biblical insight does not provide us with solutions to problems or to questions regarding our stewardship. But if we are listening carefully we realize it does give us a unique perspective from which to view the questions - one in stark contrast to the perspective the world would have us follow.
During these fall months, might it be time to consider downsizing - our life styles, our wallets - to honor the Grace of God in others?
+George N. Hunt
Tue, September 11, 2012
by Keri Lopez filed under