Sermon: Wanting, Giving And Getting

Satisfactory Essays
Wanting, Giving and Getting

This spring, I got a message from the universe. Now, I don’t get too many messages from the universe; sometimes I don’t even get my phone messages. But this message was very loud, and it came at four in the morning in the form of a tremendous thud from my closet. This particular message was one that my partner had tried to send me several times, but I managed to ignore him; however, messages from the universe are not so easily dismissed. They aren’t like Post-it notes that you can throw away. They tend to be big messages, like “Your life is too stressful,” or “It’s time to find a new career.” This was one of those big messages. The message was, “You have too many clothes.”

The stupendous weight of my clothes pulled the bracket holding the closet rod right off the shelf it was attached to, and my beautiful wardrobe hit the floor. I was stunned. Hadn’t I just gone through this closet and taken out a few dozen things and taken them to the local thrift store? How could this happen? My recent wardrobe purge was the result of a class I took in seminary last semester about stewardship. Some of the early sessions focused on American consumerism and how it hurts our pocketbooks, the environment, and even our souls. We did an exercise which included a visualization of our living space, and we tried to imagine what we would take out if we had 10 minutes to grab as many things as you could before the house burned down. I had trouble thinking of anything that I would take except my photographs, some files and my grandfathers coin collection. The thought of carrying out clothing hadn’t even crossed my mind. I started to ask myself questions. If my clothes don’t mean that much to me, why do I own so many? So I tried to clean out my closet of clothes, obviously I was not generous enough.

I suspect that this is a good question for all of us to think about. We make more money than we ever will spend as a nation, and we continue to buy more things, and yet we save much less than our parents and grandparents did. We carry staggering amounts of credit card debt, and more and more of us go bankrupt each year.
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