Tim and I are slowly packing our belongings for our move to Yorkshire in two weeks time. We were offered a team of packers but turned the offer down in favour of having a good sort out, so we are packing for ourselves.
So far we have made half a dozen trips with a fully loaded Vauxhall Zafira, to the local recycling center ( whose efficiency is excellent, over 80% of all that would have previously ended up in landfill is now reused and recycled). We have also given away a number of things on free-cycle and held a profitable yard sale, making over £100.00 in a few hours.
All of this is very sobering when I stop to contemplate the level of consumption that this amount of surplus reveals. I want to be able to travel lighter, to have less and to be free to do and be and give more, and yet it is so easy to accumulate things without thinking. So many of the things that we have accumulated hold no emotional attachment, and may be nice to have, but are truly unimportant.....
Those things that are important are things that cannot be replaced, photographs and letters, journals from years ago that chart the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Precious things that hold real memories. But the memories are the most important and those need nothing but the intention to sit and relive them.
Memories were created last week at my mother-in-laws' 70th birthday celebrations, cousins aunts and uncles, grandparents, parents and children got together for a rare few hours, hours that cannot be replaced. That time itself was precious....
At our leaving service one couple spoke movingly about the way that Tim and I were willing to give time, and although there have been occasions when that is true I must admit that I am not always a willing giver of my time. But I want that to change.
Turning again to the gospels I am challenged by the way that Jesus traveled lightly, I know that his circumstances were different to mine, but so were his priorities, and it is his priorities that challenge me. He was a giver of time, a listener and a storyteller on the one hand, he knew when to withdraw and spend time with God on the other. I want to travel more lightly, with my hands less full so that they will be ready and able to embrace others.
Clearing and sorting are proving to be quite therapeutic!