Like most families, the laundry never ends in our house. Luckily for me, I have the best wife in the world. She does most of the sorting, the loading and unloading the washing machine and dryer, and also the dirty work of getting stains out of our clothes (mostly the kids). My job is to fold all the clothes. I don’t mind this most of the time. I usually listen to one of the many podcasts I subscribe to. It makes it somewhat enjoyable.
A few months ago, I was listening to a podcast while folding clothes and the guests were the minimalists. I’ve always known I owned way too many hats, shoes, t-shirts, and other items, but it wasn’t THAT bad, I thought. I’ve never been a hoarder by any means. I actually love throwing stuff away. But as I got done folding all of our clothes and attempted to put JUST my t-shirts away, I could barely fit them into my second drawer of my dresser. It was then I decided to minimize my belongings. A couple months ago I got rid of over 100 items of clothing, shoes, hats, suits, pants, and shorts. It felt really good.
Fast forward to a couple days ago and I had the same problem. WHAT!? I have a drawer full of t-shirts and I could barely fit them all in. Where did they all come from! My attempts at becoming a minimalist seemed to have waned. As I sit here at my kitchen table and I look around my big comfy house, I have to confess that we own way too many things. Things I don’t really need. I look over at our brown leather couch that started peeling a few weeks ago and I think about how we are in the process of replacing it. We’ve found a really nice couch from the furniture store. In fact we almost purchased it! ALMOST! Furniture is expensive! But honestly the couch we have now is not broken. It’s actually really comfortable. We could use this many more weeks and even years. Yet we feel the need to get something better.
There’s a girl in our youth group that has been coming for just under a year. She has been such a blessing to our entire church in many ways. She’s not afraid to take risks, to ask difficult questions and to dream for a world that is better than it currently is. Just yesterday, she texted me, “hey, I have an idea.” I love ideas. I’m an idea man. I had no idea what she was going to say, but I was excited to hear it.
“What if to raise awareness of how truly blessed we are to have electricity, we (church or just youth) went on a fast from it? We take it as an everyday thing that’s just here, but it is truly a blessings to have. Some people don’t have anything.”
YES! This is it! This is why I have loved being a youth pastor. Young people are awesome! I didn’t really know how to respond. I had a couple practical questions for her, but I was all-in! This is exactly what I am aspiring to do in becoming a minimalist and a teenage girl in my youth group is leading the way. It’s saying, “we have so much.” It’s asking, “what can I eliminate?” I’m excited to see what this will look like exactly, what she has in mind, and what kinds of things I can do to be a resource for her.
I’ve begun this minimalism way of life. It’s really the way Jesus lived and calls us to live. I have a long way to go, but my aspirations are still high. Thanks Zoe for reminding me and helping lead your pastor in the ways of Jesus.