Standing at the far end, I survey the lay of the land, noticing the steep cliffs on either side, assessing the dangers, and developing my strategy for passing through this area unscathed. I quickly suck in my stomach, perch on my tippy-toes and begin the journey, slowly sliding sideways, as the gorge is too narrow to pass through head-on. Breathing heavily, I attempt to steady my emotions which are swinging wildly between fear of an avalanche, and the elation of having made it this far. It was a tortuous but necessary journey.
I made it through to the end of the hallway.
The boxes, bags, stacks and stashes on either side are the fruit of our efforts to scale down our possessions. The hallway is crammed full from our morning's engaging in warfare against the guest room. This being the Anything-I-Don't-Want-To-Deal-With-Now-Gets-Put-There room makes it more challenging than any other save the kitchen, otherwise known as the Boy-I-Sure-Love-A-Good-Gadget room, which was attacked yesterday.
Although this process is fraught with emotional turmoil, I can honestly say that I am not sad to see anything go. That is not the emotional upheaval I am experiencing. Owning this stuff costs time, effort and money. I am grieved to finally see just how wasteful our lifestyle has been. How much of Mr. Visionary's back-breaking effort has been wasted making the money to buy all these trifling things? Even the "free" stuff donated by well-meaning friends and family costs plenty. How much of my precious Mommy time has been spent shuffling this stuff from place to place, organizing and reorganizing, picking up and putting away, and how much cuddling and book reading could have been done in the time that was spent? How many hours have I wasted making and implementing chore charts to help us take dominion over all this in order to keep it from taking dominion over us? I can't do exponential math accurately in my head, but I cringe at the estimates at which I am arriving so far.
Like a summer afternoon storm, it started with a smattering of fat drops in the dust, "Maybe we need to get rid of a few things." Moving into a decided drizzle, "Wow, I had no idea we had so much", and onto a substantial shower, "I am ashamed at how much stuff we have", I began repenting. In the drenching downpour I find myself in now, I can hear my own voice echoing in my ears..."There's just not enough time in the day"..."I have too much to do"...
Or maybe I just have too much.
I have been daydreaming throughout this process about how different life could have been had we never owned all these possessions. I am also dreaming about how life will be different without them now. I am asking Father to help me learn this lesson well ~ to know the truth contained in it well enough to not forget, and to experience this conviction deeply enough to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Concerned that I might be taking this too hard, Mr. Visionary spoke encouragingly to me, "It's OK, Sweetheart, don't be so hard on yourself. We know now, and we're not going back there."
I answered with my best attempt at quoting Mr. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice: "You may well warn me against such an evil. Human nature is so prone to fall into it! No...let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame. I am not afraid of being overpowered by the impression. It will pass away soon enough."
Even as the words were coming out, I prayed, "Father, let it not be so! I desire to be changed by this deluge ~ and by your grace I will be."