When you’ve lived in the same home for more than twenty-five years, you run out of storage space. It’s basic physics. More things come into the house than leave the house, and that eventually presents a problem. There are some people who do a periodic “purge,” a word that makes my hair stand on end. I prefer to keep all my stuff and secure more storage in some cheap warehouse across town. Because ten years from now I may need the napkin from the restaurant where I pulled out my son’s third tooth.
My hoarding mentality is fear-based. I have known that for a while. But in Luke we learn that holding on for insurance purposes isn’t all that practical either: “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” The bleakish truth here is that none of the stuff in storage really matters because it’s not going with us. And, ideally, we should live every day like it might be our last . . . hoarding things like patience and compassion. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians underscores this point. All those treasures stacked in the garage . . . memories of special events or archives of published works? All of it is grace. And grace has nothing to do with our brainpower or sweat or even luck. Grace is a gift from God.
Grace is why we can relax and purge. It’s not about us. It’s about God, and what God can do in our lives through Christ Jesus . . . if we make room for him.