In Praise of Less

photo simple roomFor the past three weeks I’ve been living out of one small carry-on suitcase. My wife Tricia and I have relocated from the west coast to the east. In that we drove cross-country with our dog and cat, we were limited to the stuff we could bring with us. Initially the moving van was to arrive last week but for reasons unclear, the movers have been delayed. Perhaps a side trip to Vegas? We can only guess.

We are told that the truck with our worldly possessions will arrive in a few days. But as we’ve waited, its been interesting how well we have done with so little. For my part I have three dress shirts, two pairs of pants, three pairs of socks and one sock missing, running shoes and shorts. Newly made friends have loaned us a futon mattress, set of sheets, place setting for two, a few pots and pans and a few chairs.

Last night we had our first home cooked meal. It was wonderful. Without a radio or television and with no internet we broke out a deck of cards and played games. We took a long walk by the ocean. We walked our dog. We talked. We held each other as we fell asleep.

In a few days we are told the moving truck will arrive. Maybe. When they do we will be reintroduced to the stuff that will fill to the max our now Spartan apartment. I will be glad to have my books back. It will be good to have extra socks, underwear, shirts etc. I am excited about my kayak being unloaded and launched in the Atlantic ocean.

But I suspect that we will also miss the simplicity that comes with having enough but not too much. For me there is a spiritual component to this. I’m reminded to simplify my schedule and life so as to make room for that mystery we call God, Spirit. The paradox of both our material and spiritual life, is that less can mean more.

6 thoughts on “In Praise of Less

  1. As ever, your words mean a lot to me. I am working to clear larger spaces in my life and this is a timely reinforcement of God’s murmerings to me. Bless you!!

  2. Cindy Antonuk

    Kent,
    I resonate with this post so much. I moved into the parsonage in Gloucester by myself, with my husband and son still in Beverly working on our home to prepare it for sale. I have so little here…mis-matched furniture, a few books, lots of yarn and some kitchen things. It’s kind of an adventure and it really has me wanting to intentionally down-size, to allow me more ability to focus on what’s really important.
    Thanks for sharing this!
    Cindy Antonuk

    1. Thanks Cindy, amazing how grace unfolds in the unexpected. We were in the Oregon house for 20 years. Raised two daughters in that house. We accumulated some treasures with great emotional importance. But for the most part the stuff just accumulated. Our goal was to downsize by 1/3, we may have gotten closer to 50%. But I will see if that is just wishful thinking when the moving van arrives.

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