Skip to main content


I am in serious downsizing mode. In this present house I have four bedroom closets plus a big storage room in which to squirrel away my various clothes, boxes, files, papers, extra chairs and blankets, games and puzzles, camera gear and all those things I think I might eventually find a use for. In the new place, I will have one average size bedroom closet. That's right. One. The smallness of the number smacked me square in the face last week when I was taking a second look at the property. I came home and realised I had to rethink my packing strategy.

Careful collecting was soon replaced by ruthless jettisoning. No more room to store the original boxes for every piece of sound gear, small appliance, computer accessory or piece of stereo equipment. No more setting things aside because of sentimental value (just pick one thing to keep and move the rest on to a better home). If I will not use it in the next year, it is gone. I am busy selling unusual items on ebay, including Dean's favourite velvet Elvis. My real estate agent (God bless her) put me in contact with people that claimed all of my gardening stuff and quite a bit of my trusty furniture that just wouldn't work in the new place. She also brought over a lady who snapped up my dishwasher and dehumidifier.

A few large items remain and if friends are not interested in acquiring them, they shall be offered on craigslist next week for a minimal fee. I won't need a garage sale. The few boxes of miscellaneous odds and ends that are left in my garage will find their way to the Salvation Army or some such charity.

Last week I was reminded of the story of the Israelites in the desert. Every day God provided them with food - manna. They could not store it up for the future but had to depend on their Creator for their daily provision. This is what the life of faith looks like. We abandon our compulsive hoarding and obsession with stuff and dependence on belongings. Instead of finding comfort in what we possess, we find comfort in being in the possession of a caring Father who will provide what is needed each day. How silly to think that my future will be more secure because of what I have in my closets. I don't need more storage space. I need more faith in my Provider.

This is a lovely bright house in Cuba . I think the inhabitants might know more about the rightful place of a closet than I do.


dougfloyd said…
Ah yes! It amazing what we don't need. Last year I drove through a subdivision of giant houses. From the outside it looked like a ghost. Then I drove through a neighborhood of tiny houses. People were in the yards, sitting on the porches, walking on the sidewalk, and talking with each other. Then I realized who was rich and who wasn't.

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

building the church

Imagine two scenarios: 1) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Ask them to come together and put their sticks onto a table. Invariably, you end up with a random pile of sticks on a table. 2) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Show a picture of a popsicle stick bird feeder and ask people to come together and put their sticks on a table according to the picture. You will end up with the beginnings of a bird feeder on a table.

What is the difference between the two scenarios? In both, each person brought what they had and contributed it to the collective. However, in the first scenario, there were no guidelines, no plan, and no right or wrong way to pile the sticks. People came, placed their sticks on the table, and walked away. In the second scenario, people were given a plan to follow and as a result, something specific was built. Instead of walking away after they made their contribution, people huddled around the table to watch what was being built. Some were…