Look around you and you’ll notice that one of the fastest growing, most profitable businesses involves renting out storage units. The storage industry is bigger and more profitable than the entertainment industry in Hollywood. People spend more money on storage than on movies or entertainment.
Few people stay in one place anymore. It seems like 1 out of every 4 people you meet were born outside of Cape May. On average, people in the United States move at least eleven times during their lifetime. Sometimes the spaces are bigger; sometimes the spaces are smaller. We get new jobs, we get married, we have families, we get divorced, we become “empty nests,” we move across the country. All of these changes in lifestyle and location can involve a pressing need for storage. We just love or must store “stuff.” If we have access to “bigger barns,” we are liberated and uninhibited about amassing more stuff to fill those empty spaces. We think more “stuff” will make us feel more situated, safe, and secure. While authentic emotional attachments can be a positive influence in our lives, its just a likely that emotional attachments to things can diminish our lives, too. What to do?
Jesus’ parable in this week’s lesson from Luke 12:13-21 reminds us that the best “storage” we can have is not in storage lockers but in the hearts of those we love, the minds of our communities and our neighbors, and those in need. Who did God prioritize to be recipients of our accumulated “stuff” and “treasures”? Those who are treated unjustly, the strangers, visitors, women, children, the sick and injured, the cast-out and the left-out are the real “storage units” for any leftovers and surplus in our lives.
You may want to invite someone with you to worship this week as we talk about life’s storage lockers. (Then get ready for the new!)
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being” (Matthew 6:19-21).