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Tuesday, June 6, 2017
First Lines: Storage
by Griff Martin
So I know I am going to step on some toes here, but I think that toe-stepping is actually a really important part of the pastor’s job. So here it goes: I have a real theological problem with storage units. There is something inherently wrong with paying for a space to hold stuff that won’t fit into the home that you pay money to live in. Americans love storage units. As a country we have 2.3 billion square feet of storage space (most of which are pretty hideous buildings), and that averages out to be a little more than 7 square feet for every American man, woman and child. We keep too much; we hold on to too much junk; we have too much.
For a lot of people, it’s life events. Something comes along, and the storage shed gives you time to deal with it later. For them, this is the best and easiest solution. The storage shed is a wonderful temporary relief that can gradually turn into a commitment.
I think it is probably true that if something goes into the storage shed, there is a really good chance that it should go on to find another home or use. You will be better for it.
When I found this poem by Mary Oliver, it deeply resonated with me:
When I moved from one house to another
there were many things I had no room
for. What does one do? I rented a storage
space. And filled it. Years passed.
Occasionally I went there and looked in,
but nothing happened, not a single
twinge of the heart.
As I grew older the things I cared
about grew fewer, but were more
important. So one day I undid the lock
and called the trash man. He took
I felt like the little donkey when
his burden is finally lifted. Things!
Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful
Fire! More room in your heart for love,
for the trees! For the birds who own
nothing- the reason they can fly.
Now I want you to re-read her words and ponder them with this in mind: your heart is not a storage shed.
As summer arrives, may our summer plans include some soul work that will lead us deeper into the freedom that Christ has promised. May we make more room in our hearts for that which truly matters, and that which truly belongs.
Grace and peace,