Welcome to our online Bible study on Luke!
Read: Luke 9:1-36
The burden of “stuff” was revealed when we cleaned fourteen cattle trailers of junk out of my mom’s house following her death. My default attitudes were “we will find a use for this” or “this evokes special memories.”
While it was easy to take three garbage bags of plastic grocery bags to a recycling center, it was harder to throw out letters, clippings, and hand-crafted school projects. Tucked into boxes of two years’ worth of unopened junk mail were letters that I’d written to my grandfather as a fifth grader. While it was fun to see them, the cost in time for sorting took almost ten months.
As I cleaned out Mom’s house, I realized that many of my days were spent keeping my own “stuff” organized or attempting order. But chaos eventually took over because there was never enough space for all those things. The path to living with less challenged the patterns my mom ingrained in me.
This command of Jesus to his disciples takes “living with less” to a new level. A walking stick , food, and a change of clothing are not excessive. This is pretty basic stuff. None of the disciples refused to go under these conditions. But why did Jesus restrict their “luggage”?
Pondering this, I continued to read the passage, which ends with the story of the transfiguration — a true mountaintop experience.
Peter, who had gone out in ministry without any “stuff,” suggested that they build shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Luke explains that Peter said this because he didn’t know what else to say because he was so terrified.
Is that why I hold onto stuff? Because it pushes back the fright of the unknown? The mounds of stuff hold back feelings of insecurity or fear of not-enough. Even though I sing “I Surrender All” or “You Are My All in All,” why is it so difficult to give up what I can see, touch, and hold for the unknown?
My head knows that God is enough, even more than enough.
God fills our finite with His eternal.
God meets our material needs with His manna.
God comforts us in the corners that frighten us.
God promises to be the beginning and the end.
When God guides me, it makes sense to travel light.
I’m working at eliminating “stuff” so I have more room for Him. Will you join me?