Contentment 101: Don’t Tote the Totes

“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or -worse!- stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

Eugene Peterson, The Message (Matt 6:19-21)

So the question: to store or not to store? By now we have a lifetime of gathering, collecting and storing until we are almost crowded out of living space, our “cocoon,” and we believe we “need” it all for our contentment, when in all actuality, we are very likely feeling suffocated, overwhelmed and often asking ourselves, “How have I accumulated so much stuff?” We’re probably also saying it’s time we must do something with all of it, but what? There’s that lovely afghan Aunt Mary knitted with her own dear hands. It was one of our choice wedding gifts, fifty years ago. And that priceless set of real silverware we’ve used on a few “special” occasions, and the China, one hundred pieces all matching, not a chip. How many candle-holders did I count, and where are they tucked away? There are all those totes in the attic (I can’t even get up there anymore). And the books I haven’t had time to read, and now I can’t seem to concentrate long enough, or see well enough, to actually read them. Some are collectible, I’m sure.

Someone said, “If you are satisfied with little, enough is as good as a feast.” Well, most of us are living in a literal smorgasbord, with far more than a little.

Paul the Apostle said “I have learned to be content.” How old was he? I don’t know. But we can be certain it was after his experience on the Damascus Road where he was blinded by the Holy Spirit to the things of this world and awakened unto God. We can be sure he didn’t carry a lot of stuff around with him on his missionary journeys establishing churches.

“I heard Him call —-

“Come, follow,” that was all.

My gold grew dim

My soul went after Him

I rose and followed, that was all.

Who would not follow

If they heard Him call?”

H.W. Longfellow, I Heard Him Call

So don’t tote the totes. If it’s worth toting, pass it forward. Delight in the joy of giving. You won’t be needing it in your Heavenly home.

Do it now, today if you will. Now is the acceptable time. If not now, when?

Might the butterfly flying with its dried up cocoon left behind be a lovely mental description of this freedom from stuff?


We are preparing for a journey.


Jesus said to Peter: “Lovest thou me more than these?”

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