There is nothing that distracts Americans more than stuff. We live in the land of stuff. Never before has a people had more stuff than we do, and there is nothing that competes with Jesus more than stuff. Stuff is the anti eternity. Stuff is instant, it is now, it is touchable, tangible, and controllable.
We learn about stuff at a very young age. People start getting stuff as soon as their little, dimpled hands can clutch something and it doesn't stop until their hands no longer have the strength to clutch.
They have wills written so that other people will know what to do with their stuff.
This has to be done or else the people who are left behind will fight over this stuff.
Moms and Dads watch their children’s eyes closely to see what stuff makes them smile and do their very best to put that stuff within reach starting the first rules of the “Game of Stuff”.
“Reach and grab until you die.”
Some people have one pocket in their shirts to put stuff in but others have four because they need to put more stuff in them.
Pants have pockets to hold stuff also because some stuff has to be close to us at all times.
Most women have purses so they can carry stuff with them. Even some guys have begun to carry purses for their stuff.
Cars have glove boxes so they can hold stuff and trunks are much bigger and hold much more stuff.
Suite cases are getting larger and sturdier so that they can hold more stuff. Airlines have to impose weight limits on stuff, or the planes would never get off of the ground because of all the stuff we would take. We have to take as much stuff with us as we can before we feel comfortable leaving our homes behind that hold all of our big stuff.
Even as children we get so much stuff that by the time we get ready to start our own separate stuff pile we have to leave some of our stuff with our moms and dads.
We first get a small box to put our stuff in but as we get more stuff we need a bigger box to put stuff in and so we build a bigger one and then a bigger one. These boxes are called houses and some boxes are bigger and better than others but they are just boxes to hold stuff.
These boxes have doors and windows that lock. Why? Because there are actually people who want our stuff and will steal it.
They don’t ever steal our junky stuff but always take our new, shiny or electronic stuff. This leads to a business called security and a field of medicine called psychiatry to keep unwanted people out and to get other people’s heads straight that worry about things like that too much.
Some people don’t have enough stuff so they actually go to other people’s houses and buy some of their stuff in garage sales. They get so much stuff that they need more closets and shelves to hold all their stuff. They put stuff in basements, stuff in attics, stuff under stairs and stuff in drawers.
There is actually a booming industry based on the idea that people have too much stuff called “storage.” Big hollow boxes with locks to hold stuff that people just can’t seem to let go of.
People have stuff that has absolutely no value to them but they know that it is coveted by someone else so they keep it with the intention of trading it for other stuff that they covet later.
At first garages were to park the family car in but now they just mostly hold stuff.
Boxes get bigger and the stuff continues to pile up.
Do you know that stuff even gets old or that there is a term applied to stuff called “out of style?”
This is stuff that works fine, but it has become the wrong color or shape. We get bored with this stuff and so they have businesses that will take that kind of stuff and give it to people that don’t have much stuff like Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Stuff that people finally thinks has absolutely no use to anyone gets put in a stuff graveyard called a dump.
Would you believe that even there you can find people, who have a lot of stuff already, digging around for more stuff? A kind of stuff reincarnation.
People dig in the earth for stuff. They drill holes hoping that they hit a hidden pocket of black stuff down there so they can translate it into other stuff up here. Stuff can also be found on the bottom of the ocean and so you find people who risk their lives to go down there hunting it.
There are different seasons for stuff. Some stuff can’t be legally used until certain times of the year. So it sits in storage until that stuff can be used for a few short months. People practice with this stuff a lot and talk about it a lot but most of the time this expensive stuff just sits unused. Stuff to hunt with, stuff to fish with, stuff to be on the water with, stuff to fall down in the snow with, stuff to hit, stuff to catch, stuff to swing, and stuff to throw.
It has been said that “Americans have lost their souls so now they are trying to save their bodies.” Exercise stuff, diet stuff, tanning stuff, curling stuff, tucking stuff and lifting stuff.
Christians like stuff as much as sinners do. They call it, “Blessing.”
They have stuff in storages and stuff in closets. Stuff in basements and stuff in attics. Then they go to church and sing, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.”
They bow down at the altar with all sincerity and ask God for more stuff. “Bless me Lord.” When they lose some of their stuff, they think God is mad at them, “Why did you take my stuff?” “Please show me that you aren’t mad at me… by giving me more stuff.”
We honor the ones with the most stuff, and we pity the ones with the least amount of stuff.
And then we get to the stuff season, (This is it) Christmas… Jesus used to be the reason for the season, but Santa Claus brings the stuff, so … “Santa’s the man!”
We wildly dive into the pursuit for “Holiday” stuff. Stuff in stockings, stuff to wrap, stuff to eat, and stuff to decorate with. Admittedly fun stuff, I personally love this stuff… but stuff can’t crowd out Jesus… stuff isn’t the reason for the season, is it?
I wonder what it is going to be like when the Archangel blows his trumpet. Is there going to be a groan from the American church, “So soon? Now what will we do with all of our stuff?”
I wonder if Peter and a crew of angels with hammers and chisels, squeegees and scrapers are going to be ready for us?
I don’t want to walk through the gates of pearl and hear the angels say, “Can you believe that they have names for all this stuff that is caked on them? Yuk! What a mess some of these saints are. Do they know that they can’t take this stuff with them into heaven?”
A question begged to be asked.
Do Christians think like they act that God is going to hand out rewards to the guy with the most stuff? I know it is called “blessing” down here, but is stuff always a blessing by heaven’s way of seeing things?
Do some think they are going to walk up to the throne with a great sense of accomplishment and point back to a burning world and say, “Lord did you see all of my stuff before you burned it?”
God might say, “Yes I did. To whom much is given much is required.”
Written by Jeff in 1997