• Richard Parrish

Creating Space



Less is more!


So says the “minimalist.”


Today, “minimalism” has branched beyond the mediums of art and music. It is a growing trend that challenges materialism and stresses simplicity.


Minimalism is all about living with less.


For many, trading excess stuff for meaningful experiences is far more attractive — and freeing — than to be bogged down by possessions.


As a member of the Boomer Generation, I was encouraged to believe that possessions mattered; that more was better.


At the close of the first century, a Roman lawyer by the name of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Younger, wrote:


“An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.”


His wisdom became clear to me recently!


My wife and I live in a modest and comfortable house. From the time we purchased our home, my wife has done a fantastic job of remodeling. She’s so gifted!


Not too long ago, we were in the garage. We recognized the space had become so “tight.” To park her Pickup truck and my car in a two-and-a-half car garage had become challenging.


“I think we need a larger garage,” I mumbled to myself. The truth is, the size of our garage has not changed. The “stuff” we have accumulated over time — with no place to put it — has found a residence in our garage!


In sorting through our “stuff,” I recognized that what Pliny the Younger wrote was right: Many of the items we have accumulated had lost the charm they had when I was pursuing them.


Garages are not the only areas that tend to accumulate “stuff.”


Jesus cautions us:

“Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).

The apostle Paul reminds young Timothy that gain is discovered in godliness — not materialism.


He warns Timothy (and us) of how the desire to become rich is so tempting — a dangerous trap that plunges people into ruin and destruction.


When the pursuit of money (possessions) diverts our love for God, it opens the door to all kinds of evil.


We brought nothing into the world, and we will take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:6-10).


Could it be that Jesus and Paul were minimalists?


It doesn’t require larger homes, the latest and greatest gadgets, or wealth to be content. Prosperity or the abundance of things are incapable of producing happiness!


I’m intrigued by television shows like “Tiny House Nation.” Each episode allows you to observe why individuals want to “scale down,” trading larger homes for smaller ones.


Various reasons may prompt the motivation: To save money, remove clutter and distractions, become more environmentally sensitive, aesthetics, to live more simplistic, etc.


However, regardless of what motivates the desire, one thing is consistent in every episode: You can’t live a simple life without letting go of “stuff.”


I’m not ready to move into a 250 square foot house — no matter how attractive it is. I’m too claustrophobic for that. However:


It’s time for me to clean out my garage — and my life — of those “things,” that have lost their charm.


If I’m to live a more peaceful, simplistic life, it’s time to create some space.


How about you?