One of my guilty pleasures in semi-retirement is reading. I read a variety of things including both fiction and non-fiction, and I am usually reading several books at a time, including The Bible. It amazes me how God pulls strands together from diverse readings to teach me what he wants me to know. This week I have been wrapping up a study of Revelation, begun (actually on the second book) the Lucy Barton series by Elizabeth Strout (Thank you, Amanda Herrold!) and continuing a very unhurried read of The Sacred Slow by Alicia Britt Chole.
The theme of my readings this week has been “a scarcity mentality.” Oh, I haven’t run across that phrase, but that is what stands out to me, and I am feeling a bit chastised by The Lord. I know where this way of thinking began. There were times in my childhood when things were scarce. So today, when I am trying to de-clutter and rid my house of so many things, I am paralyzed. “What if I need this? But this belonged to my Great Aunt Fannie Belle! This holds too many memories.” And the clincher, “I might lose enough weight to wear this again.” These are a few of the thoughts that keep me up to my ears in stuff, but I am working on it. My niece, Leanne would say we should curate our homes. I like that idea, but have a difficult time implementing it.
This morning as I was reading Sacred Slow, the author describes how one of the first reflexes a newborn baby displays is a gripping reflex. If we place an object in a newborn’s palm, she will close her fingers around it and hold on. In fact, babies develop this reflex before they are even born, and I guess some of us carry it throughout our lives.
“In the beginning we open our eyes and instinctively tighten our grip around all that is placed I our hands. In the end, others close our eyes, and our hands are incapable of gripping a single thing. Perhaps on the other side we may see this life as a journey from keeping to releasing, from gripping to entrusting.” Chole
This is where the book of Revelation comes in. In the end, none of my possessions will matter. The only things I can take with me to Heaven will be my loved ones who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
“A clenched fist displays the delusion of ownership. An open hand reveals the realities of stewardship.” Chole.
Lord, help me to live with open hands.
Chole, Alicia Britt. The Sacred Slow: A Holy Departure from Fast Faith. Nashville, W Publishing, 2017.