We're wrapped up in what feels like a diabolical dilemma.
There's confusion aplenty, tension galore, energy shortfall, vision blurring, future unknown, and every other wave of frustration and potential destruction I could describe.
I'm thinking it's something like the perfect storm.
We've got STUFF to deal with. Our present struggle is with STUFF we've collected over the last 45 years of marriage. I'm not talking about the emotional or psychological or spiritual aspects of our relationship. It's the stock pile of material possessions I've got in mind.
This is not the first time we've stepped back to evaluate where we are in the process of STUFF accumulation. We sorted and pared down our STUFF both previous times we moved out of the country.
As a matter of fact, we went through a major minimizing process in 2010. It was a God-inspired exercise in letting go of STUFF we didn't need or want and we enjoyed it tremendously. Who knew we'd be faced with the massive challenge in front of us at this point.
We're facing an ongoing combination of questions about what to store, what to sell, what to share, and what to toss with a little bit of what to take thrown in for good measure. AND yesterday we received the not so good news that I can no longer lift anything heavy.
With my new spiritual maturity theme of 'embrace' I'm pleading with the Lord to show me how to worship rather than whine in the midst of this challenging intersection. Here's a quick rundown of the insights I'm hearing whispered so far.
1) Be FREE of encumbrances.
Releasing the bedroom set my father began to build for me on my 16th birthday doesn't mean I miss him any less. Receiving a price for an item that in no way reflects its sentimental value doesn't cheapen the memories. Relinquishing acquired goods doesn't increase the fear about future needs going unmet. The sense I'm experiencing as we clear up STUFF is that of taking my foot off the dock and setting sail with confidence.
2) Be READY to respond.
Our purpose and role is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Scripture teaches that God calls His people to meet specific needs. I'm realizing that STUFF can be a limiting sea anchor I want/need to avoid. Ephesians 2:10; Isaiah 6:8
3) Be KIND with courage.
We're doing our best to be thoughtful about offering various items to those we think might be interested. The responses we receive are sometimes a mixed bag, but they represent honest communication for which we are thankful. The more we're overwhelmed as we handle all this STUFF, the more I'm thankful to be relieving those who'll come behind us of the burdensome task.
We've got a long way to go and at this point it looks like we won't finish before we head home to Prague. Embracing the Father's plans and processes is another part of the entire project anyway so it's all good.
If you're caught in a dilemma that in anyway resembles this one, I'm asking God to make Himself known to you in powerful ways - right now in the nitty gritty of your heart condition and mindset, your attitudes and actions, your focus and steps this very day.
If you're above these waves at the moment, I'd be blessed by your prayers for me.
As always, notes of encouragement are welcome.