My essay “Rich in contentment” is now available online.
My dad is the restless type, and when I was a kid he changed jobs every few years. That usually meant a move to another state. We would move everything ourselves, loading streams of cardboard boxes into the backs of rented moving trucks. Sometimes, when we moved, we would find boxes that hadn’t been opened since the last move, and we would just move them again. We also moved boxes full of junk, things like wire hangers and busted toasters that we were never going to use.
We wouldn’t have paid money for that stuff, but we paid with our sweat to keep it. We weren’t the only ones to hang on to things like that. Other families do it, too, stuffing their closets and their attics, filling their garages until they have to park their cars outside, even renting storage space.
Why do we keep things we would never buy? Sentimental value can’t explain it. May the day never come when I develop an emotional attachment to a busted toaster. Ignorance or indifference can’t explain it. All of the boxes were labeled with their contents before we loaded them into the trucks.
Economists have discovered something that can explain it, and what they have discovered has implications that go well beyond crowded closets and garages. Their discovery links the clutter in our closets to what the Bible teaches about contentment in difficult circumstances.
Read the whole piece.