A couple of weeks ago while driving home I noticed the construction of yet another storage facility in our city. When completed it will be one of those structures that are entirely enclosed and climate controlled. In the last number of years there have been many of these storage facilities popping up all over our city. Storage at it’s utmost convenience! Drive-in heated loading bays, extra wide elevators, warmth and convenience for all! Why didn’t I think of it?
Seriously, why didn’t I think of it?
As convenient as these facilities are, it hints of an underlying and troubling trend. As I mentioned before, many of these facilities have been built in every corner of our city. But why? Is it because of the humidity controlled environment? Is it because of a free rental van or competitive monthly payments? Or is it because we run out of places to put all our stuff in our endless pursuit of more?
Perhaps the most simple reason is because storage is needed. There is just too much stuff! Speaking of stuff, what is it about the things we do not have? Whatever it is, it seems to dissipate shortly after we acquire them. In time, those things will become filler for the storage room. It’s funny how quickly an item can lose enough value not to keep, but not enough to throw away? Our need for storage space is not only a symptom of chronic consumption, but also a sign of an unwillingness to let go. Maybe we don’t like to get rid of our stuff because deep down, we know we didn’t really need it in the first place. Keeping it, even in storage, perpetuates the lie.
Think of it this way, what happens to someone’s body if all it does is consume, with little to no digestion or elimination? Well, toxin buildup and sickness happen; eventually resulting in death. Jesus told a warning story of uncontested consumption.
“A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:16-21 (NLT)
Jesus then continued to talk about the virtues of contentment. Contentment is that place of rest knowing whatever you have will be enough, whether it be very little or very much. Jesus reminds us where the real value is placed, and it is not on things. It is placed on you and I. Even better, this great value is placed on us by God himself.
As contented people, we are free to not keep that which has no lasting value and also not pursue it either. If we don’t have to consume to feel valued, our storage room might just stay empty.