Very slowly we are starting to pack for our move. Earlier this week I cleared out my office at the church. Over the years I thought I had done a pretty good job of tossing things out, but we ended up throwing away five large industrial-size garbage cans filled to the brim with odds and ends I no longer need. Even so, we had almost 50 cartons of books. My wife asked me if I wanted to sort through the books before we packed them up. On the first day, we didn't do that. On the second day, I thought better of it, and ended up tossing a lot of books I didn't need. I decided this was a good rule. If I brought the book with me when I moved to Chicago from Texas in 1989, and if I hadn't looked at it even once in the last sixteen years, and if I couldn't think of why I would need it in the future, it was probably a good idea to toss it. I ended up leaving a set of Old Testament commentaries for the next pastor plus two large concordances that I have hardly used. The Internet has radically changed my approach to Bible study since you can either buy the resources you need on a CD or you can find tons of helpful material online. As a result, we're traveling lighter than we used to.
The same thing is happening as we pack up our home. We're finding that we don't need to take everything we have with us. Some things can be thrown away, others can be given away. I find it liberating to think about the things I no longer have to have.