Wednesday, May 30, 2007

necessity vs.excess

i have been thinking about these two words a lot lately. i recently read my friend sherry's travel blog about her trip to uganda, africa. i read about the places she went, the kids she met, and the organizations she learned about. in reading these i was struck by the kids generosity even in the lack of having very much at all. i marveled at the idea that these kids are more than willing to share themselves and what they have with someone who is a stranger and so generously. this made me think about my life. i know that i cannot compare my life to the folks in africa. my circumstances are different in many ways, but it makes me think about what i own and what things i think that i need.

where do we draw the line between necessity and excess? is it different for everyone? what makes it different? how do we determine what is excess and necessity? is there a way to determine? how do i manage to draw this line in my own life? these are some of the questions i have been struggling with. i have had conversations with a few folks about them and thrown ideas around. then i asked....what would God want me to do? what does God say about this? still to no avail there is no clear answer in black and white. there is no where in the Bible that specifically says this is excessive and this is necessity. my friend jen pointed out that many times God tells us to be humble.

so then i ask am i humble about my belongings? do i really need more than one pair of jeans to be happy? why and what is the reasoning for all my stuff? i don't really think that i NEED all the junk i call mine which in all honesty is just on loan from God (that is a whole different blog). what do i need to survive? i thought about the basic needs of humans---food, shelter, water, clothing (i might be missing some here but feel free to add to this). i have all those things. i have a shelter, i have clean water which many people do not have, and i have clothes. do i really need to have all the clothes i have? all the shoes? why do i covet these things? why do i think i need all of this stuff? why do i struggle with cleaning out my junk? why is it hard to let go? do i not trust God with my life? he says that he will provide all my needs. am i of little faith?

a few weeks ago at church the pastor gave a message on fear. he talked about how where there is fear there is no faith and vice versa. he also mentioned that when we fear that is related to sin. he referenced stories in the Bible---adam and eve feared God after they sinned and clothed themselves because of shame, then peter had fear when he tried to walk on the water, and all the guys in the boat during the storm which God says to them....."you of little faith"

my question then iswhat am i afraid of? where is my line of necessity and excess? how do i make the decision of what i need and what i don't need? i know that God is having me struggle with all of this for a reason and he has spoken to my heart.

if i stop and reflect on the things i need to make me happy these are the things that come to my mind--community, Christ, unconditional love.

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