More space for more stuff
My coffee drinking buddy had the back of his pickup full of “stuff” he had gathered up around the house that he said “just had to go” and was headed for the dump first thing. It’s unreal how much stuff one can acquire over the years, without even trying. It seems we never throw away anything even though we live in a throw-away world. I’ll venture to guess we own more broken unusable things than serviceable things we use every day. This phenomenon is so prevalent there’s even a profitable TV show called “Hoarders.” I ran across some interesting statistics the other day. Self-storage is the largest-growing investment business in the world. The “Self Storage Association” published the following facts at the end of 2013. There are over 52,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. and more than 59,000 in the world. The total rentable space in the U.S. is now 2.3 billion sq. ft. or 78 sq. miles of under-roof storage. That’s more than three times the size of Manhattan Island, N.Y. That’s about 21 sq. ft. of storage for every American household; 7.3 sq. ft. for every man, woman, and child in the nation. That means it is physically possible for every American to stand, all at the same time, under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.
Although over the years our family size has shrunk, and the size of our homes has grown, 8.9 percent of all American households currently rent a self-storage unit; 68 percent of all self-storage renters live in a single family household; 27 percent live in apartments or condos; 65 percent have a garage, 47 percent have an attic, and 33 percent have a basement in their home, but still rent a unit. I guess every nook and cranny and closet is already full of stuff and renting more space makes sense. It took the self-storage industry more than 25 years to build its first billion square feet of space, but only eight years to build its second billion square feet. It appears we baby-boomers are unwilling to discard anything, yet we get blamed for all the landfills -- go figure. Keep hoarding, America! 172,000 employed workers are depending on you!
So, what are you going to do with the fireplace in your home, which convinced you to buy it in the first place, now that the EPA has banned their use because of the pollutants coming out of the chimney? I’ll bet cow diapers are still right around the corner.
[Luke 12:13-21; 14:25-33] “... What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops. This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’” It sounds like this guy is tuning his voice to be heard by everyone -- “I-I-I, Me, Me, Me”. ... But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Don’t get me or the Lord wrong here. Work hard and lay aside for yourself, but don’t forget about the Lord, the one who gives it all in the first place. Like Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). God’s wisdom is littered with paradoxical thoughts of truth. What comes to mind at the moment is that, through baptism I have died so that I might live (Romans 6) and that I must give up everything to become a disciple of Christ (Luke 14:33). What must I give up? Me, Myself, and I. It’s not all about me; it’s all about God. The cost for God’s love and grace is giving your all to the Lord.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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