Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

300,000 things. That is what a professional organizer claims the average American household possesses. It’s hard to believe, but it may not be fake news. As we consumers go about our daily lives year-by-year, we buy and receive “stuff.” Some things give us transitory pleasure, others more so, and the goods continue to accumulate—after all, what if we might need it in the future? To give ourselves some credit, trash gets tossed, recyclables are sorted, unwanted materials become someone else’s possessions. Barring a significant event like moving to a new place, we still hover around the 300,000 mark because the buying and receiving keeps going on.

Out of the blue, if some person were to challenge us, “Hey, what would you give up in order to live more richly?” we would be taken aback by the apparent contradiction. We are what we own. OK, we can, say, give up buying and eating chocolate for 40 days, but no more! Let’s shift the perspective a little to the realm of the spirit. Over two millennia ago, there was One who gave up His life, and in this loving act, gave us the unmerited gift of life everlasting if we choose to accept and believe. TVs, books, clothes, mobile devices, appliances, toys, and all objects yield a stream of varying utility, but being in possession of the gift from the One by grace, that’s something worth keeping.