Carrying Too Much!

October 27, 2014

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.
6.  Con­sol­i­date.
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.
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