Having Things

Having Things

“Happiness doesn’t come from having things.  It comes from being a part of things.” Chris in the Morning (Northern Exposure)

I live in a world of things.  I live in a culture that values things. Heck, I have a garage full of things.  I have five surfboards for heaven’s sake.  At one time, they were relevant.  Now?  They are just…well…things.  We preserve things and call that wisdom.  We acquire things and call that success.  We deny things to others and call that security.  I live in a world of things.  But there is a world beyond things.  And there is a life beyond things.  And there is a happiness that having things can simply not provide.  There is a way of being that is not happiness exactly, but I don’t have a word for it.  It is deeper than that…richer than that…thicker than that.

Sometimes it feels like…at least in a lot of our “doctrine”… salvation has become a thing we have. Not a material thing…more like a title or a status, but a thing nonetheless.  It is talked about as a possession…something that we possess…we possess salvation. We have it. And it is valued. We are taught by well-meaning people that salvation is to be had…acquired….obtained…and then secured…locked away…protected. We call its acquisition righteousness.  We call its attainment success.  And we protect it as if we could lose it and we call that security.

But what if salvation is not a thing we have.  What if it’s not a possession? What if the Good News is not a status that we can acquire?  What if, instead, salvation is something we can participate in…be a part of?  What if the heaven that is to come is something we can be a part of now? What if heaven is not what’s served on the table, but being a part of what’s around the table?  What if the Kingdom of God is not measured in square feet or antique wood or horsepower or new track shoes? What if it’s just in the chance to run as fast as we can, and give someone a ride, and creating something with our own hands, and simply having shelter from the storm and people to share it with?  Would that change anything?  Would the world be impacted differently if it was at least partly populated by people who lived their lives now as a part of the heaven that is to come? Would your life be different?

“Watch out! Keep your guard up against all kinds of greed.  A person’s life does not consist of the abundance of one’s possessions.” – Jesus of Nazareth, 1st Century peasant, Son of God.

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