On the Lester side of the family (my mom’s side) I have a Great Aunt…Aunt Edna. She lived to be 106…and on her own until 102 or so. Aunt Edna was a very wise woman and among the wisdom I remember most about her was her simple life. She made choices that kept her life simple. I mean big choices. She lived next door to the church…no driving needed. She memorized scripture so when her eyes failed or she didn’t have her Bible, she would have the scripture available. I remember standing at her bedside in the nursing home when we she was 103 and hearing her recite scripture. All you had to do was say one line and she would finish the rest…entirely.
Well, Aunt Edna was healthy and she loved jelly. She also knew that too much jelly wasn’t a good thing for her body. So she strategically placed the jelly jar on the highest shelf in her kitchen. A shelf so high that to get it she had to climb up on a chair and reach to the tips of her toes just to get it. You can imagine…it took a lot of “want” to make that climb just for a taste of jelly. And that seemed to balance out her love for jelly and her desire to be healthy. Simple. Choices.
I recently made a committment to simplify. It’s been a long time coming. Spending the month in Guatemala was a good boost in the balancing department. There in the land of colors and culture I faced my materialism, waste, ego, desires and all types of reality every day. When you meet someone that owns 1 or 2 pairs of shoes total, it just makes coming home to 16 pairs of shoes a little odd. Actually, it makes it a lot odd…it just doesn’t work. The food I throw out is needed by someone who is hungry. The medicine I purchase and let expire could alleviate pain in another’s body. The coat I don’t wear anymore (but “might” for the right occasion) will keep someone warm this winter….unless, of course, it remains in my closet.
Aunt Edna had the jelly jar and I have boxes. Boxes of my life. “Stuff”. After having been gone a few weeks I’m not even sure what’s in those boxes anymore. But this is my strategy for the next year: I will open at least one box a week (I don’t have more than 52 boxes now). Whatever is in that box will be used by me, get sold, or be given to someone else who can use it. I would like to be “box free” or “storage free” or just light enough to not feel the burden of my possessions. Imagine… life where the weight of sunflowers in bloom is all you have to carry. God is so faithful and I’m going to need God a lot for this adventure! Let it be.