Monday, April 28, 2008


This past week with my parents rocked me. My brother, sister and I were in charge of down-sizing them from their 2 bedroom apartment into a 1 room apartment. That meant sorting through all their stuff. It's not junk, but meaningful, sentimental, story-filled objects that cover walls, fill closets and are set in hutches. Neither of them could do the sorting. We had to do it for them. It was a task only children can (or should) do for their parents. What is most meaningful? What objects bring them the most satisfaction and joy? Which books should be culled and which books should be saved? Hour after hour we sifted and sorted, boxed, bagged and threw away.
Now, back in my home, I look around the room where I sit writing this and see all MY stuff. It's stuff that has already been sorted in our move out of our 5 bedroom house in Minneapolis into the 3 bedroom parsonage here in California. We thought we pared things down: cutting my library almost in half, going back to one car, and getting rid of lots of furniture and stuff from raising a family. But what remains is still a lot and its all important.
In a blog some days ago I reflected on whether I'm a Bedouin or an Astronaut. I like to think of myself as a light-traveling person. We pride ourselves on going to Europe with one bag each for a month or more. But an honest look around here tells me I'm much more of a stuff-laden Astronaut than lean-traveling Bedouin.
And of course, this line of reflection heads into the church where I live and work. How much stuff do we need to do the Gospel here? How much do we allow to accumulate and encrust? How much sits unused in hallways and closets, gathering dust and taking up space?


At 2:24 PM , Blogger Jeff and Lisa Olson said...

We recently blogged about a similar subject

At 5:12 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

The wierdest part of having you in town and working to move grandpa and grandma was thinking I might have to do this again with you two.

I wonder how Grandpa handled moving Elsie and Edwin.

Perhaps the good part of a digital age is compactness. I think all of my music, photos, documents and videos could fit on a hard disk or two. Perhaps the real computer revolution will come in reducing media to just a handful of wired stuff.

At 8:40 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Yeah, I'll bet it was weird watching the generational switch. Be nice to me!!!


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