YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU  By Lori A Alicea

Judgment Day has finally come for our stuff.

The day we liberate ourselves from the village of boxes taking residence into two storage units whose contents we have no idea of anymore.

Boxes we can’t get to, walk between or even reach if we had a need.

Boxes filled with stuff we once loved I’m sure.

Where multiple reunions of memories will certainly take place on the lawn of our hearts once the purging begins.

But the battle cry of the General shakes the walls of our home,

BE GONE you unnamed faces of clutter”.

Who takes his post on the front line to wage war against the soldiers of stuff, to win back our peace and freedom from life’s accumulation behind door #1 and door #2; handing out eviction notices to over one hundred boxes of squatters, giving them thirty days to vacate the premise.
You don’t notice it happening when the boxes of your life start taking their place on the garage shelf.

But when you move into a smaller house and those boxes of stuff find a new home in storage, you realize you’ve taken on the identify of Madam Blueberry, a child’s cartoon character that accumulates all her stuff,

Who reasons with her excuses:

I’ll need this stuff again someday.”
I just can’t part with my stuff.”
Surely, my grown kids or grandchildren will want my stuff when I’m gone.”

At the end of the day our boxes are just stuff.

Stuff that costs us financially, spiritually and emotionally.

When the reality is at the end of our life,
You can’t take it with you.

A bell ringing loud and clear when the hearse came for our father on
August 7, 2016.

While appreciating the wonderful provider my father was, a high price was paid as he toiled over two jobs during my entire childhood, working arduous days, nights and weekends to give his family a better life than he had, at least in the material things.

But I remember watching him slave over Volkswagen’s needing repairs through the kitchen window into the garage as a young girl, longing he’d take a day off and spend it with me. With the driveway converted to a parking lot always filled with cars waiting their turn to be fixed, a daddy-daughter day never happened.

Once the hearse left with our father in 2016, I turned around to the house filled with stuff of the ”better life” my father left behind for us kids, yet embracing the empty reminders of the emotional price we paid for stuff, when all we ever wanted growing up was time spent with him.

“Where my money goes, my heart follows.”
Randy Alcorn

If we could realize before we waste our lives working to collect wealth and stuff:

God has not given us all this wealth simply to increase our standard of living,
But to increase our standard of giving.
Randy Alcorn

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV

Life is best spent in the currency of time on those who call us mom, dad, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend.

Discovering together those hidden gardens of wild flowers which open up themselves and our eyes to the “little things”, a place that requires no admission but a heart of contentment.

A place to remind us that a life of loving and forgiving, serving and giving to our Lord and others, will lay up treasures for us in heaven instead of stuff here on earth.

20 Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
Where neither moth nor rust destroys
And where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is,
There your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:20-21

Might we have eyes to see the end of our life while we are still living our life?
Might we toil less at the job and enjoy our children more before they take their maiden flight away from home.
Might we simplify and purge the stuff which burdens and live the best life God has prepared for us.
At the moment I am writing these words, my brother’s life is waiting for Jesus to receive him or give him a miracle.  Who I promise at this dire hour is re-visiting the family ledger, adding the deposits he made into the lives of those he loved, wasting not one minute on the credits of purchases he made for meaningless stuff.

Might our best life be spent in the currency of time on those who call us mom, dad, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend and not wasted of stuff,

Because when the hearse arrives one day,
And it will,
You can’t take your stuff with you.