In the movie ‘Fight Club’, the character Tyler Durden says an unforgettable line— “it’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
In the context of that movie, the words were used to legitimize insane behavior. But what if there is truth to the idea of losing to gain? What do you have to lose? What stuff have you amassed? What have you worked hard to achieve? Do you ever feel like giving it all up? Or does the thought of losing it all cause you to curl into fetal position?
The house I live in today is larger than any house we ever lived in growing up. I have two full bathrooms and a two car garage. I never had that growing up. Overall, houses are getting bigger while family sizes are getting smaller. Bigger houses and smaller yards... Where else are we going to keep all our stuff?
Is it just me or storage units and garbage dumps on the rise? Storage units appear to be a profitable business and municipalities are exporting their garbage anywhere that will get it away from them.
I know a man who had to move into a storage unit when his apartment had a fire. With no place to put all his stuff he rented the unit, but could not afford another apartment. He ended up catching naps at a friend’s house and basically lived out of his storage unit. He kept his clothes there, his important papers and lots of ragged junk. His home was an 8x10 storage unit.
As strange as it sounds, he was still living with more opportunity and personal space as many of the world’s citizens today. There are many places where his storage unit would be suitable shelter for an entire family.
I’m reading a book that I will be reviewing on my blog. It is entitled ‘Hungry For Life’ by Dave Blundell[i]. One of the more startling statistics presented states ‘20% of the world’s population in developed countries consumes 80% of all the world’s resources, which means that 80% of the world’s population, from the poorest countries, are left to live off of 20% of the world’s resources.’[ii]
Because we live in the midst of it, we are often indifferent to the extreme lack experienced by the other 80% of the world. If we lost everything, would we be free to do anything? How free are you now to be obedient to God’s impulses in your life?
The North American church needs to experience a revolution of downsizing our stuff while increasing our direct involvement in caring for the poor locally and around the world.