Yesterday in church our pastor spoke on joy. He made the illustration of happiness as a cheap umbrella that gives us the illusion of protection, but when life starts to rain it fails. Joy, on the other hand, is like a sturdy roof. A roof that protects us even when life gives us hail.
Anyone else out there getting some hail right about now?
How does this tie into owning less? You see…we collect stuff and fill our homes overflowing with things that make us happy. But it’s not the kind of happy that will last when life gets hard. (And if you’ve lived longer than a day, you know life gets hard). Our houses are overflowing but our hearts are empty.
This is so clearly demonstrated by our kids. Ever walk through the toy aisle with your toddler? If you have, you know they will undoubtedly find something that they cannot live without. In fact, if they leave the store without it they will surely perish within moments from the crushing disappointment of leaving it behind. If you’re like me, you sometimes give in to their request only to realize that they didn’t even bring it in from the car before they’re on to the next thing. The happiness that came with that new toy already forgotten.
Aren’t we all like that sometimes (although not so dramatically, I hope)?
Part of my purpose for clearing out excess was to create space to focus on filling my heart with Christ’s love, and I can’t do that if I’m chasing temporary happiness. Maybe for you it’s not stuff. Maybe it’s commitments, people pleasing, drugs, work, food…whatever, you name it.
There is nothing wrong with being happy, just as long is it’s supported by a good solid layer of joy.
This is not meant to be a preachy post, if it feels like it know I’m saying it to myself as much as to you. My point is, it’s not just about having a clean house (because trust me, my house still isn’t clean). It’s about making space for what is truly worthy and filling up on that instead.