Busan. Despite its closeness to my parents’ hometown, it was a new place for all of us. We had never properly visited, let alone lived in this vibrant city in Korea. With excited and nervous hearts, the Kangs stepped into their new house with 146 boxes.
Hundred and forty-six boxes, plus 23kgs of luggage and 7kgs of carry-ons each of us had as we stepped off the plane. The new apartment was quickly packed with… stuff.
Lots and lots of stuff. A little bit too much stuff. Some stuff to keep, some stuff to chuck out, some stuff we had no idea that we even had. While all this stuff was going on, I could not help myself shouting every five minutes – “WE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!”.
“…lay aside every weight”
Swimming in our pool full of stuff, Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1 came to mind: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”.
Notice that it says “every weight and sin”, highlighting that in this spiritual race we are in, sin isn’t the only weight that slows us down.
The fact that we had a lot of stuff wasn’t particularly harmful. It wasn’t a result of excessive spending, as most were second-hand, gifts from friends and keepsakes we couldn’t bin.
But they were clearly weighing us down. For a good week, the place was in complete chaos and so were we. Though the house was slowly getting organised, our lives were completely disorganised. Sleeping patterns were out of place, healthy meals were replaced by takeaways and Bible reading and prayer barely squeezed in our daily routines.
Unending work tired us out and each of us promised we would not add more belongings. However, a home lacking its essentials meant we had no choice but to grab new closets, cabinets, tables and beds. As things inevitably expanded, frowns on our foreheads did too, as we knew full well what was waiting for us the next time we relocate.
Frequent trips to the mall and long receipts made me ponder about their weight in our lives. I began to see that it wasn’t just a matter of more work in the future, but the potential sin of gluttony.
“…and sin which clings so closely”
We weren’t spending in luxurious malls trying to indulge ourselves. Each item in our carts were all necessities…or so we thought. Reflecting back as I look at our now organized, furnished house today, I see a lot of new products I can’t call a ‘necessity’.
I am aware hard work had allowed us to spend and that God gives gifts so that we can enjoy our lives. However, I believe it is also worth reflecting and praying for wisdom as we spend money that was given to us from above.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 31, we are told, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. I believe this should be our measuring tool as Christians in all of our actions. “Is this sin?” doesn’t cut it. Rather, it should be “is it for the glory of God?”.
Our place can finally be called a ‘home’ now, with everything neatly organised and made comfortable for us. Our life can also seem neat and comfortable, but some things may be hidden under the bed or deep inside a drawer, only to be revealed when it’s time for a big move again.
To run fast and free in our spiritual race, let us occasionally reflect and ask God to search our hearts for hidden weights and potential sins that may be weighing us down.
Sunny is a recent graduate, a dreamer, a rider with a steady seatbelt in the rollercoaster of her Christian life. You can easily find her lost in books, writing in her journal, sharing her awes in God and sneaking one too many chocolates in her mouth.
Sunny is as a weak as a broken reed, a flickering candle. But Abba God shows His abundant mercy again and again by incredibly loving this hopeless being. Soli deo Gloria.