You making a list, he asked and gestured to the open notebook on my twice painted wooden coffee table. Yeah, I said. I glance at it, sections labeled according to their content's demise. I am unapologetic in my efforts to scale down. I've never been a stuff person, the most expensive thing I own is my car, valued at $4000 and that is wildly above the next most expensive thing I own, this laptop.
After that, well, it's all downhill, no electronics, no movies, no cds. My favorite things are my bike, offered to my roommate for a mere $5 and given to me by her; my vintage glasses, the ones that look like they have marijuana leaves on them (but I know better). I love my orange leather chair, a castoff from my sister-in-law's friend, and those green living things I refer to as Graham, Stanley, and Po. I love the artwork on my dining room wall, some original, some small postcards with perfect colors, all worthless to the keen eye. I'm partial to the ceramic bowls gifted my second mom who keeps her eye out for all things orange and I'm partial too to a set of flea market baskets, lined with dark blue cotton. I love my camera.
A friend sent me an email recently with these words: "I have no love lost for the American Dream, but I'm glad to take care of all this stuff while God lets me have it." And I can't help but admire his candid admission and gentle balance. I can't seem to find any of that balance in my life. When I realize something or feel passionately about it, all reason fades and I'm on a mission to accomplish. I have no one to blame (nor do I look for anyone) for the inconsistencies in my life, the constant moving, the lack of sticktoitiveness. I guess when Jesus said, to whom much is given much is required, I took him literally. I figure it probably works the other way around too, the less I have, the less will be required.
And I know my logic fails there somewhere. Someone asked me recently why I'm always trying to avoid the call of God, slip out of places of leadership and responsibility, sure I don't have what it takes. "The call of God is relentless" he said, "you won't escape it. You know that right?"
And I guess the truth is that I don't know it. Not for real. I guess that there is some part of me, like Gomer, who wants to push my Savior to His limits, see how far He'll go for me. Not a fair challenge, I know. But I wonder if Jesus told the disciples to take no bread, no bag and no money, it was less because He knew the value of traveling light and more because He knew the value of complete dependence on Him alone.
I don't know and I don't promise to have the corner on this market. What I do know is that there is a list on that coffee table that is forcing me to make decisions about where my treasure is--and, this I know for sure, it is hard to give up treasures.