A recent read has changed my view on a few things. The book is by Joshua Fields Millburn and titled Everything That Remains. Millburn is a self-taught Minimalist and offers his journey to living with and on a lot less. Less of everything.
The first half of the book was much more interesting to me than the last. At the start, he is a young, successful business person with all of the material icons of wealth. By some peoples definition he has it all. Including a body that is overweight, over worked, and over medicated. His marriage is crumbling, and he is in debt up to his baggy eyeballs. His marriage is falling apart, and he is without hope or anticipation. He becomes aware of his materialistic issues with the death of his mother and his process of cleaning out her house. He sees that what remains is not important. He wanted more of her, not her stuff.
Passion is discussed in the book as what we try to do more of or become better at. We do the things we do not like to do so we can do the things we like to do. Read that again. Millburn suggests that we stop putting effort into the first part, and more into the second part. Do more of what we are passionate about. To his credit, he shows in detail his process and his personal experiences that allowed him to change his life from a New York Executive to a Montana Writer.
As I said, I enjoyed the first half of the book. I became disappointed at the end because of what Millburn did not discover along his enlightenment. Throughout the revelations and the discoveries of his conversion, he did not discover the joy of giving, or the blessings of being in service to others. He hinted at them, but never divulged if he made them an active part of his life. For this I was sad for him. His focus was mainly on his happiness alone.
For me, being in service to others is where the vast majority of my sense of purpose and fulfilment comes from. What I do here at The Cathedral of the Rockies allows others to get through their day or to follow their passions and their journey to the Cross and Jesus. What a blessing to have the job and passion so close together.
So if I was to insert words into Millburn’s book, I would add that as you start divesting yourself of the material excess in your life, you could channel the proceeds from the sale of, the lack of payments, lack of storage fees, lack of insurance and such into increased giving to the causes, creation, and people you are passionate about. Who would not get more joy from giving more? Example? Sell off that box of Grandma’s dinnerware you never use and fund a Friendship Feast with it. Let it feed someone. Another? Clean out your closet before winter, there are a lot of people cold in the winters around here.
When the stuff is gone, you have less to worry about and take care of and then you can open up time to serve others. Example? Teach a class, volunteer here-there-wherever. Take the old lady next door to lunch once a month. Then bring her to church with you the next Sunday.
We all only have so much to work with. Time, money,energy. How we allocate it is where we can become the person of passion we all wish to be- and what God calls us to be. We hear him, we are often just too busy dealing with our stuff.