Our scripture lesson for the first Sunday in August deals with stuff. Luke 12:13-21 starts with a fellow asking Jesus to adjudicate the division of family property. Verse 1 through 11 Jesus is warning the multitude not to worry about the powers of the world. And a guy breaks in with a request for Jesus to get him his share of stuff…
This hits a little close to home for me. For going on two months I have been busy considering stuff. I’ve been moving stuff around in three states. Stuff I have collected over most of a life time is piled up in different places. And now I am busy thinking about a home for my stuff as I look for a house in Somerville. That is the burden of stuff.
OK. I squirm as Jesus talks about the rich man with such a bountiful harvest, he is tearing barns down to have bigger ones built. He thinks with enough stuff he will be able to relax, enjoy life, have a nest egg of riches to fall back on. The warning is, don’t count on it.
But I look forward to settling down with my stuff. To having things in place to enjoy the memories of years spent reading, of traveling and collecting, of fixing, of receiving as gifts. I have in fact given a lot of stuff to friends that could use it. I’m happy doing that too. I hope they will be grateful and like my stuff when they have it as much as I did.
There are limits though. I know stuff gets in the way. It is work caring for things. It is work to move stuff.
I did some research on the investment potential of owning storage units. There has been crazy, just insane growth in storage unit construction. There is 1.7 billion square feet of storage for rent in the United States in 2019. How can storage unit owners and investors go wrong? In a bad economy people lose their homes and have to downsize. Do you think they get rid of their stuff? Nope. They rent a storage unit. And when the economy is booming? Yep, they buy stuff they don’t have room for, yet, and rent a storage unit. 1.7 billion square feet of storage units. That’s over 64 square miles to put stuff folks aren’t going to use everyday. Maybe not even for months. Why do you suppose storage units give you the first month free? They know once you move all that stuff you need to have above average motivation to move it again, maybe for several months. Maybe many months until you find a home for stuff again.
We will be reading in Luke’s gospel this month. Most of what Jesus is asking us to consider is the value of our soul.. What is your treasure worth? How do you measure what has real value? How do you keep it safe?
Let’s Pray To Understand.