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Monday, January 31, 2011

Mormons & Materialism: Part 4 What We Consume Ends Up Consuming Us

So, we end up with boatloads of stuff cluttering up our lives. Then what?


Then, we have to buy batteries for most of it. We have to learn how to use it by reading the owners' manual or looking up tutorials online. We have to take it back when it doesn't work properly. We have to replace it when it stops working. We have to insure it so we will be compensated if something happens to it. We have to find a place to put it. We have to find a place to store it. We have to find a case or protector or something for it. We have to constantly watch it when we are out so no one steals it. We have to buy a security system and locks for our home so no one takes it when we aren't there. We have to clean it. We have to clean around it. We have to walk around it or be careful we don't walk on it or sit on it. We have to wash it. We have to launder it. We have to get the stains out. We have to buy refills for it. We have to watch for sales so we can afford to buy refills for it. We have to service it in some way. We have to replace it when it gets old or it gets outdated or it gets damaged or (gasp) it goes out of fashion . . . and so on . . . and so on . . . and so on . . . But, the kicker is this, we have to USE it and that takes time.


The things we have end up consuming us.


Can you imagine how much freedom you would have if you simply got rid of some of it, or didn't acquire it in the first place?


A million years ago when I owned a 1985 Chevy Cavalier my "little" in the Big Brother/Big Sister program wanted to go to Lake Superior to swim. She wanted to bring her friend and her friend's dog, a golden retriever named, appropriately, Goldie.


I hesitated because I wasn't sure I wanted two drenched teens, myself and a drenched dog riding in my car. I told myself that if I had a really nice car I would have said, "No dog." But, since my car was anything but nice I said, "I guess so." The dog turned out to be golden in name, color and disposition. She was marvelous.


However, my point is this: We had a BLAST especially with that dog! A million times I've thought to myself how much I would have missed out on, or how much WE would have missed out on if we hadn't taken the dog. I think about what I would have missed out on if I had protected my car from just two drenched teens or even just a drenched self.


Some people have such nice cars they are afraid to park them anywhere because they are too afraid someone will ding them. Cars aren't an end in themselves. They are means to an end.


Vehicles have importance because they allow us the mobility to go somewhere and do something. How you get there, as long as you get there alive, doesn't make a lot of difference. They have utility in achieving some end.


We ought to be more concerned about the end.


Take a good look at your life. Are your things consuming you? If they are, it is time to rethink your life.


Series: Mormons & Materialism Series
Part 1 We Can't Take it With Us or Even Use it Here
Part 2 Stuff & Nonsense
Part 3 Out of Purgatory or Into Heaven
Part 4 What We Consume Ends Up Consuming Us
Part 5 Affluence or the Appearance of It
Part 6 Titles, Labels and Lemon Juice
Part 7 Power and Other Addictions
Part 8 Summer Cottages in Babylon
Part 9 Valuing Based on Utility
Part 10 Get Rid of It!
Part 11: Consecration & Conclusion

1 comment:

  1. I had back surgery almost two months ago, and I was on bed rest for several months before that while we figured everything out. We moved our bed into our living room so my husband and I could sleep next to each other. It made sense.

    I have essentially lived my life in my living room, our downstairs bathroom and occasionally the kitchen. Guess what? I don't miss the 1200 square feet up the stairs. The kids rooms are only 650 of that. Our upstairs bathroom is almost the size of one of the kids' bedrooms.

    We are renting the house we are in, and will probably rent again for our next two year stint. By the time we are ready to buy a house, we will only have one at home. I am already thinking about less house and more land. I am already planning for land, not a yard. I only want to water the garden on a regular basis. I definitely do not need as much house as I have now, and I want a house that is the right size: bedrooms if you live with us, an office for my husband when he isn't traveling and an extra room for visitors, where the bed hides in the wall, so I only have to make it if someone is here. Otherwise, I can use it to stretch, read the scriptures, and hide from whoever is in charge of the next RS craft activity.

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