The Pursuit of Stuff

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
           John 10:10 NIV 

Laurie Alice here. Often when I was a child, we neglected to lock the house door leading from the attached garage and into the kitchen.

We didn’t think about how vulnerable we were. Crime didn’t happen in our quiet neighborhood. Yet one night when the door stood unlocked, someone slipped into our house and stole my mother and sister’s purses off of the dining room table.

Not one of us, not even the dog, heard a thing, yet while we were sleeping, a thief invaded our home and took our possessions.
Even now, decades later, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about that incident. What utter horror to realize how, too easily, this thief could have taken more, including our lives.
Why someone takes what is not theirs to have more at other’s expense I do not comprehend, yet the world is full of thieves come to steal from our lives. We fall under the false idea that, to have an abundant life, we must have more shoes, a wider screen TV, chairperson of that special committee on which we sit, instead of remaining in a position as a worker bee.

During the Regency, life was no different. The “stuff” people wanted might have been different—a high perch phaeton instead of a cool new car, an invitation to Almacks instead of that committee chairship, a hand-painted fan from China instead of a Louis Vuitton handbag—but the sentiment is the same. The end results are the same now and then. In our pursuit of false roads to abundant life, we rob ourselves of what Jesus wants for our lives.

He promises abundance, the fullness of life. That may not come in the form of material possessions or a honored status. Jesus gives us a richness of life, a purpose well beyond the realm of stuff and into the completeness of everlasting life.

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