Friday, January 13, 2012

Material World

Many of you already know of the tragedy which struck our school family last night. Marie Gage, a wonderful Christian lady, lost her life as the result of a home robbery. Marie was the mother of Loa, our Athletic Department assistant and George who works in our transportation section. She was also the mother-in-law of Greg, our Head of School, and the grandmother of Amber, Richard, and Cody, three of our WCS grads. Marie leaves behind her equally wonderful husband, Bill. You could never find a more generous couple than these two. Six years ago, I wrote about them; I hope it shines at least a little light on the  saints they were. This is from May 22, 2006.

The Gages moved to Texas last summer from their Florida home. I doubt it was for better weather; August in Houston is brutal. It might have something to do with the fact that the house they purchased is directly behind some close relatives. Their daughter, Loa, is our registrar at Westbury Christian, son-in-law Greg is our Athletic Director/boys' basketball coach, and grandkids Amber, Richard, and Cody are WCS students. The Gages are in the process of condensing their lives by reducing their possessions. Closing down their Florida dwelling has saddled them with a storage dilemma. For months, Marie has continually asked what I could use in my apartment. They have become my version of Wal-Mart. An iron and ironing board, pots and pans, towels, trash cans, a clothes hamper, clothes hangers, dishes, etc.- they have more than met my needs! Loa called last night and asked if I might like additional furniture. Her folks are clearing a room and have two spacious cabinets I would be welcome to. I went to see them after lunch this morning, which they also graciously provided at Saltgrass Steakhouse, my favorite restaurant in Houston. The bureaus would be perfect for my clothes as my dresser is plywood with metallic handles. Tomorrow, Greg and I will pick up my new furnishings and after hauling them up one flight of stairs, deposit them in my living quarters. I see only one problem. (Well, actually two as I need to do some straightening up.) My apartment is not tiny but it leans in the small direction. I don't have a great amount of possessions but adding two sizable bureaus leads me to an undeniable conclusion. Something has to go, maybe multiple items. I'm taking a wait and see policy until the move-in is completed.

The Lord is generous to us. He is so much better to me than I deserve. I have seen kids in a Haitian orphanage with their worldly goods in a tiny suitcase with plenty of room to spare. What a problem, to have more stuff than we can comfortably fit in our homes! (The Parable of the Rich Fool comes to mind as told by the Savior in Luke 12) Our lives often mirror our possessions. We are offered the chance to be involved in things, good things, but our plates are already overflowing. We reach the point that to take on another good work, we have to give something up. I am convinced it isn't the taking on that presents the problem. It is our reluctance to delete anything which we feel good about. We hesitate to say no to requests for our help on some project or program. Maybe it's ego- often we are picked because it is perceived we have ability that make us logical workers in that particular vineyard. I feel guilty about turning down opportunities, especially when the offer comes from friends/fellow Christians I admire OR feel I owe a favor to. But a crowded life is like my soon-to-be crowded apartment. If I don't subtract when I add, I will find myself running into obstacles which will just cause me pain. Sorry this is short but I have some BIG decisions to make!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their own possessions."
Frank Lloyd Wright

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Jon said...

I think i did good on my final...

JKC said...

A very practical lesson for all of us. It is very important that we don't let our possessions possess us. Thanks!