Tuesday, June 20, 2006

the power of stuff

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our power;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

-excerpt
(William Wordsworth, 1770-1850)


What a task it is to live on this very present earth, and not allow it to lay hold of us! The apostle John writes in his letter to the Asian church: Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. Yes, this entry comes from me; the very same soul that goes bonkers over art, architecture, and gardens. What gives? As Desi says to Lucy: You'd better start 'splainin.

A few decades ago, I resolved to prune my life from the love of things. This pruning is an ongoing process. "Love people, not things." I constantly quote inwardly. (and at times, aloud.) You know; things:
Cars.
Jewelry.
Expensive clothing.
My dreamhouse.
My piano (oh yes.)

The list can go on. Dear reader, I hear you say: "Yes, but you have some of those very things!" True, but not by design. It would take a ream of paper to relate the comings and goings of the material things in my life. I'm pretty grateful for the comfort and wealth God has lent me. Keeping a mental list of the big-ticket items that I call mine is a handy way to check my heart attitude. Pop-Quiz!
1. do I own this, or does it own me?
2. if God nudged me, could I easily give it away?
3. is my happiness tied up in this thing?
4.can I take it heaven with me? (pretty rhetorical...)

Here is the goal of my little self-quiz: Hold them all loosely.
Enjoy my things while they are in hand. Easy come, easy go. Be philisophical to see it come. If it becomes too dear, give it away. Give lots of stuff away. Be happy to see it go. Bye Bye, Stuff. It's a fancy-free way to go about this jungle we call "life."

Sure, we can complain that the world is too much with us. Kinda like white on rice.
But I'll be a monkey's uncle to lay waste my power on mere stuff.

How about you?

2 Comments:

Blogger Lore said...

but i just wrote a paper on that very poem!

2:47 PM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

way cool.
and, pray tell, what amazing insights did you glean?

3:28 PM  

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