I read this article a few days ago. It is about a couple who after coming from a long hike and realized there were a lot of things in their life they don’t need.
What do you do with things you don’t need? You chuck it out.
This is what they did. They started to give away their possessions and realized there is a lot that they don’t need to live. The couple are serious hikers. They are the type that will spent weeks in the trails with everything they needed on their back.
And hikers admired those who can hike with less. Too many possessions on the trail will weight you down. Less is more. There was one extraordinary hiker by the name of Wolf. He carried a pack weighting only 14 lbs including food and water.
From my own experiencing of camping. Not hiking. Camping. The type where you drive to the camp site. Quite tame :). I could barely get my backpack to 14 lbs including my sleeping bag.
The author goes on explaining how hikers had a tendency to attach to their possessions. How true that happened in our culture as well.
A few weeks ago, after church over lunch, we were talking about wedding and buying a house. Average wedding 30,000. A good down payment for a house…about 70,000. That’s 100 k!
What else can someone do with $100,000? Well, more than half of the world make less than 2 dollars a day. Let say one person makes on average 700 dollars a year. We can take care 142 people for one year!
hmm the disparity era that I live in.
Going back to the article, the author continued on discussing about our view of success if often proportional to how much stuff we have. The more stuff we have, the bigger house we need to store it in. The bigger house we need, the bigger expense we need to protect it (insurance, security etc.)
I had a conversation with a friend a few days ago. He is getting marry and recently bought a house. We talked about how our possessions start to take control of us. There are things we need. There are things we want. There are also things we think we need and think it is good for us when they are really idols in our lives. I don’t want to lecture my friend about how to spend money. As the subject of money t is quite sensitive. Often when I bring it up, most people tend to keep quiet or dismay at the topic.
I told him to read the Bible, see what Jesus has to say about money, pray and seek the Holy Spirit and see where He is leading him in that matter.
How odd in a culture that values getting more, acquiring more, and collecting more, the thought of living with less and simply is very attractive. I can see many sources of stress in my life are because simply I have too much, not because I have too little. The stress of deciding what to do with all the stuff. The stress on trying to cram everything into my schedule. The stress of making more so I can take care of all the bills.
The society expectation to look great, eat healthy, work hard, have fun, go out for adventure, have a stable income, have good friends, be a good family, be independent……not that all these things are bad. I just dislike the pressure to perform and expected to perform. The unconscious exclusion when someone don’t meet the norm. (heh, we all value individuality..yet we only value it when it is our individuality is met. If another person has a different set of individuality, we will think that person is different)
When I went to Australia for the World Transplant Games, I spent two weeks afterwards to backpack along the coast. Because I had to carry everything over my shoulders, I was very focus and cautious on what to bring and what to leave out. There were many souvenirs that were nice. But they weren’t essentials. So I discarded them. My pack was as simple as I could make it. I was quite proud. It was great. It was free.
On this walk with Christ, I strive for lightweight living. So I can walk faithfully along the narrow path that leads to life.
The article ends with a quote from Wolf
And we know it is possible because Jesus has shown us the way.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.