Placing Our Treasures and Stuff in Perspective
One of the personal burdens many of my older adult friends have discussed with me through the years is what to do with their “treasures”. By this, they are not talking about their money, their financial investments, or their loved ones; they are talking about their furniture, their personal collections, their books, their photos, their art, and even the stacks of papers that have piled up over time. They are talking about both “treasures” and “stuff” intentionally and unintentionally collected throughout life.
Ironically, at the stage of life when it becomes absolutely clear that we need to “downsize”, we may not have the physical strength to do that kind of labor. (Fortunately, I continue to learn of small businesses that are helping people do this work, and I am happy to help you find one when you are ready.)
On another front, by the time we accept that we need to downsize our belongings, our younger family members may have already acquired all they need. Or, my older friends tell me, “My children have different taste and don’t want my things.”
In addition, I have friends who are overwhelmed by what their parents left behind, and they can’t even begin to deal with their own stuff. And perhaps you, like me, have gone to an Estate Sale and felt the sadness of all the surplus of a person’s life that no one knew what to do with.
In the book of Matthew we can read several important gospel insights that give us perspective on our “treasures”:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…”
“Jesus said to [a young man], “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
I am writing about this issue because I believe that there can be more creative, productive, and intentional ways to deal with our treasures and our stuff while we are still living. Some of those ways might even benefit others. I am also writing about this issue because I don’t want any of my older adult friends unnecessarily feeling burdened or “stuck,” unable to make changes that could lighten their everyday load of responsibility and enhance their quality of life.
Please know that I am here to talk, pray, and help you find resources when you face these or similar challenges.
In His Love,