How did we get so much junk?


dumpster move out

Not my move-out dumpster.

It took a couple of weeks to complete our move from Santa Monica to Van Nuys. I let the ladies handle most of the decisions of what to throw out because if left to me, everything goes. I become a vicious minimalist.

But when our deadline came and went, it was time for me to take over and throw out a dumpster full of stuff that — in theory — we might use possibly once in our lifetime given the right conditions. When it comes to junk, I’m not very sentimental. (Why are we saving the wedding dress?)

The Great Purge of the Ashcraft household raised a question: How did we get so much junk?

When we got of the plane fleeing a life as missionaries in Guatemala, we had nothing. Just clothes. The church let us stay in the parsonage. People donated furniture and stuff so we could begin to eke out a life here in the lap of luxury. It’s been six years. Apparently the accumulation and consumerism has progressed unchecked all this time. I am a guilty party: I read, for example, that a water filter made for better coffee. I could never taste the difference.

All this stuff really doesn’t improve our quality of life. It doesn’t contribute to our essential happiness. Why did I buy into the lie that another thang is going to make me happy? How did incessant consumerism possess my heart? We can’t take it with us when we die.

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6 responses to “How did we get so much junk?

  1. I’ll confess to the hoarding tendency, both because I grew up in a situation where everything HAD to be made to last as long as possible, and because as a tinkerer I actually have made good use of a lot of stuff that other people would consider junk, but your basic premise is certainly valid, The only thing that ultimately matters are people and their eternal souls.

  2. I’m with you. Nearly everything goes to the dump. I need very little for existence, mainly just Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.

  3. Well, some of the stuff improves our quality of life doesn’t it? I mean, does it have to be all of it or none of it?

  4. The world needs to hear this: “We can’t take it with us when we die.”

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