I have too much stuff: an open confession

“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

From where I sit at this present time (in my room) where I usually do most of my blogging, I spy…
– Enough clothes that if I planned it right I could go without doing laundry for a month
– A lot of camera gear, both film and digital
– A nightstand with a lot of personal hygiene products
– A cigar humidor
– A cup full of corks and bottle caps
– A “collection” of whisks and spatulas
– A stack of magazines I’ve read
– A stack of books I have read
– A stack of books I haven’t read
– A few bottles of multivitamins
– A stack of hats I’ve accumulated over the years (despite not being an official hat person)
– A stack of DVDs
– A bigger stack of CDs
– A lot of pens, not as many as I once had, but once I find a good pen I usually buy a bunch
– Cooking equipment of all sorts for the apartment years when I can entertain and cook for family and friends
– A handful of Moleskine art books
– A lot of art supplies
– A lot of cooking knives
– A jar of change
– A dozen or so photo albums with photos in them that I took over the years
– 2 Zippo lighters
– 2 pairs of sunglasses
– 2 bottles of cologne
– A few icons and images of Jesus
– 12 or more different types of incense

…and that’s pretty much it from my field of vision, but that’s not all I own, but still I am left with feeling guilt for having too much.

I could say that it’s my right to have all this stuff, accumulating over years, making up for those years where I barely had anything to call my own and the times when I received hand-me-downs despite being the oldest and only boy in the family.

Call it cheesy, but I remember a song from when my sisters would watch Disney movies verbatim ad nauseum, Little Mermaid comes to mind and she sang a song that had this line:

“I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore (You want thingamabobs? I got twenty) But who cares? No big deal I want more” (italics mine).

Granted she wanted more of a life, with humans, 2 feet and all that jazz…but still it pricks under my skin because that’s been my attitude at times with being a consumerist greedy bastard connoisseur of sorts. I have so much “but who cares, I. Want. More.”
Because if I am honest with myself in writing this, I do act upon an I Want More basis, if I didn’t perhaps I’d be able to budget better, save some aside for some day down the road when I’m living on my own, give and invest more in what truly matters…People!

This rift of my consumerist ways and God’s ways does take its toll on me, but not nearly enough. My guilt is mine and mine alone, because while I do make time for others, I know I can do better and I have a feeling God wants me to do better with what he’s given me; talent wise, time wise and most definitely money wise.

I desire a life that doesn’t feel so tied up in material goods. Not that there’s occasions where I have to think “so do I want to spend time with people or with my stuff?” But if I keep up this trend I may have thoughts of that down the road, and honestly I don’t want to live like that, I don’t want my things to take precedence over that what truly matters on this side of eternity as well as the other side.

I need prayer, I need help in this area of my life.


Confessions of a closeted capitalist (poem)

I live in a state of duress
brought on by stress with what I possess
my books, my camera gear
they’re near and dear, but
I fixate and salivate
save and spend, invest and buy
worldly possessions…just to get by (?)
I don’t need this surrealism brought on by my capitalism
but still I take out my cash, my credit card
do I think much about it? well I don’t think hard
that the material I purchase might be real
but living for myself is rather surreal
this thing called money has made me a phony
I talk a good game but I know it’s baloney
I give my time, my strength and health
but I hardly give any of my wealth
I give away parts of me that has no expenditure
living a life that’s equal parts risk and adventure
but I’m cold and calculating, searching and seeking
for temporary fixes that always are fleeting
and with everything I call my stuff, call me out & call my bluff
To which I wonder does it really matter? When is it enough?