Friday, January 13, 2012

Where Am I Going?

Honestly, I have no idea!  But my goal is Heaven!

So, that means I have to look at everything (including people) my life daily and decide if it is helping me or hindering me in achieving my goal.  This has got to be the toughest part of this journey we are on.  Daily Mass, regular confession, Adoration, daily prayers, doing charitable work, etc. are all tough to keep up with, but that's a breeze compared to letting go of things.  That was and still is the hardest part of the life changes we've been making.

It's hard to step back and look around at your life and see where all your time, energy, and money has gone.  We never lived "extravagant" before or so we thought.  We never splurged on much, didn't take extravagant vacations, didn't buy expensive name brand items, didn't eat out often, etc.  We didn't buy our kids everything they wanted or asked for.  We were very sure that we were ahead of the game.  Of course, when you compare yourself to the Jones family, it's easy to see what all you don't have or don't do and to tell yourself you're not wasteful.  But when you sit down and take a hard look at your life and compare it to the truly poor, it's shameful!  The amount of things wasted, the amount of money wasted on material things, and the amount of time wasted was truly an eye-opener for us!

As we began to take stock of our house, we realized how out of hand things had become.  The closets were jammed packed with clothes when so many were naked.  We didn't buy expensive, name brand clothes.  But somehow buying less expensive/on-sale clothes gave us a license to buy more than was needed and necessary.  It was shameful to pull out clothing items that still had tags on them that had been forgotten about and outgrown.  We narrowed our closets down to a just a few necessary items such as school uniforms, church outfits, and work/play clothes.  And not many of each, so yes, you will see us in the same clothes often.  Does that truly matter?

Once the closets were sifted through, we moved on to the DVDs, toys, video games, books, etc.  The amount of money that had been wasted on "stuff" that was hardly ever played with or used was sickening.   This is when we realized that things we had at one time forbid had snuck their way into our house at some of our weak moments.  We looked at everything with new eyes and asked, "Does watching/playing/listening to this help us on our journey to Heaven?"  We gave a great deal away and threw a great deal in the garbage, but still have a long way to go.

Our next major change was in our food consumption.  It was sinful to actually see the amount of food wasted in our house when so many were hungry.   A bite here, a bite there---adds up to a lot of wasted food.  Not only did I begin cooking smaller amounts, but we started serving ourselves smaller amounts.  We quit eating to the point of being stuffed. (Gluttony?)  Even though I was never a fan of "prepared" foods, lots of them had snuck their way into our pantry and freezer because of their convenience.  We cleaned that out too.  It's amazing how much we truly can live without.  We are not only being less wasteful and greedy, but eating better too. 

Remember, I said this was the toughest part of our journey; a part that we continuously revisit.  It's amazing how many really good excuses we can come up with about why such and such or so and so "is or could be" a good thing.  If we aren't careful, we can reason everything right back into our life.  It's a daily job that we have to be very vigilant about.

Although we are not completely rid of all that excess baggage, we are well on our journey to our destination.   We have to continually ask ourselves, "Where are we going?"

No comments:

Post a Comment