What can you live without?
I was cleaning my house today and I remembered a conversation I had with my grandson not too long ago. He asked me, “Mema, why do you have so much?” I looked around the room we were sitting in and his question made a lot of sense, especially thinking about his own home which my daughter decorates using a sparse mentality. My house tells the tale of multiple collections. You can quickly see the things we not only like, but value.
I have always had a lot of stuff. I remember one spring when my dad picked me up from college. He loaded my boxes into the car while I went off to sing with the college choir at Bacheloreate. While I was singing Dad was driving and he ended up having a flat tire which resulted in him unpacking the trunk to get to the spare. Needless to say for a long time I heard about how much stuff I had and it was never a positive thing.
This was not always the case. There was a period of time when I had very little. I was issued a blanket, two sheets, and two towels. I had one uniform at a time. I was also issued a coffee cup, a stubby toothbrush, and a nineteen cent black short comb. I had to purchase soap, shampoo, and toothpaste from the commisary from money left for me by my husband. I could have three bras, three pairs of underwear, and three pairs of socks—they all had to be white.
I was in jail for sixty days. Not long by comparison to some sentences, but near an eternity for me. My life was run on the schedule of others. I slept when I was told. I ate what I was given. I had to ask permission to go through doors. I could see my husband twice a week for fifteen minutes each visit.
I learned I don’t need very much at all.
So each time when I read Psalm 23, I am reminded anew that I have everything that I need when I allow my life to be led by the Great Shepherd. Everything I need. I can ask for what I want and what I think I need, but if I don’t have it—then I must not need it.
This week I thought I killed my laptop (thankfully not) and I was told that the SD card in my phone containing two years worth of pictures of my inquisitive little grandson was kaput. I had to come once again face to face with the question: what do I really need? I don’t have a list. What I do have is renewed sense of peace that comes from the assurance that the one who knows me best and loves me most will supply my every need.