Ok, it’s official. NO, I’m not leaving Sligo as your senior pastor, although I have heard rumors to that effect swirling around the gossip mill. Not quite sure how these things get started. But what is official is that I have declared myself to be a card carrying minimalist. In case you’re not quite sure what that is. A minimalist is someone that has decided to remove all clutter from their life and live with less. Minimalism, as the lifestyle is called, is a movement that has grown recently throughout our country and the world, as men and women have made the conscious decision to owning just the essentials of life and removing all the excess.
As I shared in my message titled, “WIndchasers,” last Sabbath, one of the reasons we as Americans have filled our lives with so much “stuff’ is because we believe that somehow our “stuff” is going to bring us happier and more fulfilled lives. But as Solomon, AKA “the wisest man that ever lived,” learned in his own torrid pursuit of happiness, true happiness isn’t found in chasing after the things of this world; it’s achieved in chasing after God. In his book, Living with Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness, which by the way is a must read, author Joshua Becker reminds us that because of the unique relationship that exists between our “stuff” and our connection with God, there is a potential danger in owning too much of it. I’m sure you’re familiar with the adage that says, “Whatever you hold onto will hold onto you.” Well, the more stuff we have, the more imprisoned we can become.
Although I have made it my pre New Year’s resolution to begin to live with less, sadly there are many in our country and even our community that live this way, not because they have made a conscious decision to do so, but because of circumstances that have forced it upon them. That is why it is paramount for those of us who have much to adopt a way of life that allows us to give to those who are in need. So as we prepare to celebrate our annual Festival of Praise this Sabbath at Sligo, I encourage each of us to dig deeply into our cupboards and bring bags of non perishable goods so that that those who are forced to live as minimalists can at least, during the Thanksgiving season, have the opportunity to live with a little more.