The assertion that ‘less is more’ is not new. Many will have discovered that contentment with little appears to bring a quality of life that the accumulation of stuff seems to mar. The challenge, I find, is how to conquer the instinct to acquire more.
Jesus warned about the danger of trusting in stuff when he declared the conflict between loving God or mammon.
Yes, but how to do it?!
As a child our family always seemed to be counting the pennies. It was years later that I discovered it was the spending habits of my father that caused this lifestyle. Perhaps that is one reason I was careful with money from childhood, with my pocket money, and as an adult with my earnings. Is this why I have to be careful about ‘bargains’?
I have a tendency to see something I know I will need at some time, and because it is at a bargain price now, feel that now is the best time to get it. I think someone who was more confident about their prosperity would be less likely to feel the need to seize what seems to be a bargain. I wonder if they can more easily see the shop or supplier as their store cupboard. I tend tend to think my home needs to be the store cupboard filled with the stuff I think I may need but had to get when I saw it because it was a bargain.
I read the following quote from Less is More, Spirituality for Busy Lives by Brain Draper (which I recommend).
Good advice! Courageous!
Draper also quotes from Fiona Reynolds, the director-general of the National Trust in the UK. In her foreword to a book called Simple Pleasures she says,
“It is one of the great delusions of our age that we can only find great delusions of our age that we can only find pleasure in ultra-sophisticated, expensive or pleasure in ultra-sophisticated, expensive or complex situations… It is so often found in little, usually unremarked things and the cherished places in our lives that evoke comfort, joy and memories…”
I created something today – a memory. My 13 month grandson is staying. He wore his new wellies as he and I walked through the snow in our garden to where our hens live. He carried a small bucket in his hand. We opened the hatch and loaded his bucket with the three eggs we found there, then walked back the three metres or so through the snow to the house.
I found pleasure in our little journey and he found a memory that will last a life-time. Perhaps that realisation from our small adventure will help me loosen my grip on stuff.