Good Stuff in the New Millennium
I was just doing some cleaning in a corner of my house, where the geological strata dated back to the previous millennium. The previous millennium is only 10 years ago, but still with an active family and busy career, stuff builds up!
It makes one think at times like these, about distilling life into what really matters. Those trinkets, books, papers, photographs, etc. that held so much value at the time – what is their value now? Taken on a larger scale – how well are we dealing with the problems of a throw-away society?
A trip to the local garbage transfer station here in Langley is always another serious learning moment. The first year Global Environmental Issues course at Trinity Western University uses such a visit as a teachable moment. All that once glittered like gold in the eyes of the beholder, being thrown out and piled in great heaps to be carted off to a landfill somewhere in the B.C. interior.
But I am really thinking more than the sheer volume of stuff here. The meaning of the stuff – what was done for all those years, in terms of my work, in my family life, my thought life, my prayer life…what does it mean now? What will I carry from those 10 years of experience (or more) on into the future?
These are the musings of a professor on the edge of the September rush. So many powerpoint lecture slides, papers, words, illustrations, and most of all, multi-dimensional beings with hearts and souls (= students) will pass before my eyes in the near future. How will it all pan out?
The real matter – the good stuff we want to last a long time and in some form throughout eternity is the gray matter – the minds of the students and somehow getting something useful out of my own gray matter into theirs. This whole process of accumulating useful stuff comes down largely to the process described in Romans 12:2:
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So hold on to the good stuff, and let the rest go (or don’t buy it in the first place).