It was the hardest 1st day on the trail ever! It started at 9,500 ft. elevation and went up over 11,500 ft. before descending back down to 10,000 ft. That’s 3,000 vertical feet of climbing at high altitude and my 62 lb. backpack was just too much. I may have survived but not without a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering. Note to self; lighten the load! From now on carry only the essentials and make sure they are light essentials!
As I look back on my journal entries from that trip it’s obvious to me that God wanted to use the physical experience to inspire me to “lighten the load” concerning my material possessions as well as the emotional burdens that I carry as a man and pastor.
How can I “lighten the load” by getting over my addiction to stuff and de-cluttering my life materially?
In Luke 12:15 Jesus said, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
I’d like to offer some suggestions for “lightening the load” materially. I have been practicing all 6 of these behaviors for 3 months now and I love how it’s changing me and my personal world.
1. Stop obsessively acquiring by slowing the purchase decisions down!
If there’s something I really want to purchase I don’t just sleep on it over night, I sleep on it for a whole week. Then I pray about it and then sleep on it some more. If the desire goes away and I don’t make that purchase, I’ve won a great victory and have kept my dollars in my pocket for something better!
2. Rid my wardrobe of clothes and shoes I no longer wear.
I won’t miss those items. I’ve never gone back and fantasized about that ugly old shirt that has now come back into fashion!
And there’s something wonderful and emotionally inspiring about walking into a closet or storage space and seeing that it is open, clean, and organized with items that are truly useful.
3. If I end up with 2 things that do the same job, bless someone with the extra.
Why do we collect extras? Got an old laptop computer? How about a stack of old laptops? Ever consider that there might be someone out there who doesn’t have a computer? Bless someone and get that extra back into play!
4. Learn to appreciate and enjoy things without having to own them.
There are many things that only a few of us need to own. We don’t all need to own a trailer tent! In fact, most of us will never need to even borrow a trailer tent but for the sake of argument, so long as we all learn to take good care of each other’s stuff we can borrow, share, and learn to enjoy without having to purchase.
5. Sell Stuff and raise money or store credit.
Never in the history of the world has it been so easy to sell our used clothing or equipment. EBay, Bookman’s, Buffalo Exchange, and garage sales are fun and exciting ways to “lighten the load” and build up funds or store credit for future necessities.
There are times when it’s time to upgrade our gear, equipment, vehicles, etc. When that happens it is so much fun to sell a number of older items in order to fully fund the purchase of a new one. Not only do we keep our dollars for more noble uses but we also de-clutter our possessions and “lighten the load” as we do.
It was a few weeks ago that I was reading through the Proverbs when this verse hit me like a lightning bolt. Later on that same morning as I was ha...
5 Transformational Thoughts on a Tranquil Heart
September 25, 2014
“… ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.’” Jesus of Nazareth