Wednesday, August 5, 2020 02:22

When You Lose It All, Is All Lost?

no new stuff, homeless, giving, materialism

Yesterday, as my wife and I returned home from an appointment, we stopped on the freeway exit ramp and encountered a young man with a sign.  “Homeless. Anything Helps. God bless!”  I don’t know how long he had been on that corner, but he was all wet and his cardboard sign was soaked.

When all your earthly stuff is gone, what matters then?  Shelter from the rain.  A safe place to lay your head at night.  A warm meal.  Love and acceptance from someone significant.  Life at that point is surely not about accumulating stuff.  I’m certain that fellow was grateful last night if he had the chance just to enjoy food, shelter, sleep, and a little love.

Sometimes when I see people who have more stuff than I, I can be tempted to feel sorry for myself.  My emotions can become tinged with envy.  On the other hand when I see someone who has lost it all, it causes me to be more grateful for what I have. It makes me realize that although my stuff may make life easier, it isn’t the essence of life.  Ultimately stuff is not what matters.

Jesus knew what He was doing when He said God would meet our needs—not our wants. True needs are few, but wants are endless. And in the end, even fulfilled desires don’t satisfy our deepest needs. Our deepest needs are spiritual—a relationship with God through Christ, the assurance of His peace and presence, the hope of heaven.

Last night as we were idling in the traffic lane, Litsa remembered we had a plastic sack filled with stuff we had put together for such a time as this.  I reached around behind the seat and gave the man the bag.  It contained ten small items.  Not much by some measures, but more than he had before we met.

I will never know how he felt about receiving the stuff we gave him. I don’t spend much time thinking about it.  What I do wonder about is what my attitude would have been if I had been the one standing there in soggy shoes.

Day 20: NEW STUFF = 0

© 2011, Linden Kirby, Excel Ministries, Inc.  All rights reserved.

2 Responses to “When You Lose It All, Is All Lost?”

  1. Lauren says:

    I definitely resonate with the statement "…even fulfilled desires don’t satisfy our deepest needs," as I have experienced this time and time again myself!  I have often spent hours, days and, in some particular cases, years, desiring certain things only to find that the "good feeling" that comes when the wants are finally fulfilled only lasts a relatively short time. It's so disappointing, but it proves that the following statement you made is also true:  "Our deepest needs are spiritual—a relationship with God through Christ, the assurance of His peace and presence, the hope of heaven."  I have found that spending time in prayer, reading the Bible and discussing spiritual matters brings a true sense of fulfillment.  However, interestingly enough, the more I do these spiritual things, the more I desire to continue to do them–which I find is a much healthier want/desire/fulfullment cycle to continue than one of acquiring more physical posessions!