According to the U-Haul website, a nineteen foot truck is sufficient to move a three bedroom house. After moving the contents of my three bedroom house, using a nineteen foot truck, I can only conclude that U-Haul based its estimate on a monastic family, which has taken a vow of poverty. We packed that truck as full as full could be, and I can say without any exaggeration, that we didn’t have a spare inch left. As I surveyed the truck, I thought to myself, My family has become the Beverly Hillbillies. The folks who are going to help us unload are going to think we’re hoarders!
As I surveyed the truck, I was also freshly reminded that life is about so much more than stuff.
Life is about forming wonderful memories with Jen, Charis, Ella, and Gwendolyn. About eating ice cream together on a hot summer night. About having tickle fights on the bed. About the girls singing “Let It Go” over and over and over. About Charis learning to ride a bike without training wheels. About Gwendolyn singing Aviici in her tiny, two year-old voice. About dance parties in the kitchen.
Life is about the blessing of having godly parents. Parents who regularly read the Bible. Parents who taught me that you can’t outgive God. Parents who regularly take my kids out to McDonalds for fries and chocolate milk. Parents who only want the best for you, even if the best means moving far away. Parents who drive twenty-one hours, from Pennsylvania to Florida, in order to help you move. Parents who still give their grown children money when things get tight.
Life is about enjoying the wonderful gifts God sprinkles throughout each day. An ice cold Coke on a blistering hot day. A soothing shower after a long run. The swish-plop sound of a fishing lure being cast out, then landing on the water. The smell of freshly ground gourmet coffee.
Most importantly, life is about loving Jesus. About filling every nook and cranny of my life with the wonderful light and love of Jesus Christ. About living in light of eternity. About pouring myself out in service to Jesus, knowing that it’s best to die empty. About devoting my limited talents and skills to the cause of making Jesus Christ known.
After taking stock of all that he had accumulated, and concluding that it was all vanity, Solomon came to a surprising conclusion. You would expect him to conclude that all of life is pointless, a futile game in which no one wins. But he doesn’t. Rather, Solomon concludes that the good life isn’t achieved by collecting things, but rather, by enjoying the simple, good pleasures that God himself provides.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 ESV)
I spend so much time thinking about stuff. Getting new stuff, taking care of stuff I already own, and on and on. But when I see all my stuff jammed into a nineteen foot truck, I realize that life isn’t really about stuff. Life is about loving Jesus and loving people. I want to invest my life in those things.