“Giving it Up is Not Giving it Up.”
“No one can serve two masters, for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth”
A few months ago, I had considerable trouble because of my weight gain. My weight has never been an issue in my entire life. It caused me a lot of trouble. My weight has rarely ever changed, but since I moved to Wisconsin, I have been gaining weight without being aware. I know you may be suspicious thinking, ‘what is she talking about?’ Yeah, someone might think, ‘this is a joke-she is still tiny.’ That might be the case, and ok, when compared it others. But, it is I who cannot be compared with others.
I thought at first that I needed to gain a little more weight for good health. A friend of mine who saw my pictures on my Facebook said, “You look like you’re gaining weight, which means you look good. You must be satisfied with your life and happy in your ministry.” I said, “Yes, it is true. I am satisfied and happy in my ministry.” However, the trouble began with my back pain. When I woke up every morning, I had back pain, But I overlooked the reason. I thought it might be caused by my chair, which I have used for more than five years. I changed my chair. But, my pain was still there. Later, I thought my bed was causing it. And I changed my bed position. But, my back pain lasted for a few weeks. One day, I suddenly remembered that my doctor told me, “You shouldn’t gain weight it’s bad for your back. Since you had surgery on your back, your back becomes weak if you gain weight.”
The other problem was that most of my clothes no longer fit me. But I didn’t get a chance to shop for new clothes. Finally, I went shopping for new clothes while I was on vacation. I felt great about buying them because I rarely buy new clothes. Usually, I got my clothes from Thrift stores or my friends, and most of them were from my country, meaning I kept them for more than 15 years because my weight didn’t change. When I returned home from my vacation, I brought one of my friends to my place. She has wanted to visit my house since I came to Wisconsin. But, she couldn’t visit me due to the Pandemic.
One day, when I organized my closet with my new clothes and my friend looked at my closet, which was full of clothes and she said, “Wow, you have a lot of clothes. Why did you buy new clothes?” I said, “Because I gained weight, most of them didn’t fit me any longer.” She said, “Well, why don’t you take them away in order to make space for new clothes?” I said, “But they have precious meanings to me, such as friends’ good gifts or memories of my country.” She smiled at me and said, “I know what you mean. But, taking them away doesn’t mean you are taking your memories or friendships away. Taking them away makes space for taking new things in. My husband and I take our old things away to Goodwill or the Salvation Army before getting new things in. I thought it was a better to send my old stuff to people in need than keep them in my closet. Just think about it and try to do it. It might help you refresh your mind and your body. If you decide to donate them, take a picture of what and how much you are donating and take them away.” Her words remained on my mind long after she went home.
Finally, I took my old clothes out and filled my closet with my new clothes. I sent my old clothes to the church’s rummage sale. I realized what she meant after I took my old clothes away. It didn’t mean “throwing away good memories or friends’ love away,” but “making it extend to others.”
I have experienced a ‘simple life’ through this practice. I thought ‘simple life’ was to give up something, such as greed or desire, to train for self-control. However, you may start a ‘simple life’ with tiny things in everyday life, such as reorganizing your closet, kitchen, storage, or bookshelf. If you find the things you haven’t touched or used for a long time, they can be given to others. As long as you see empty spaces in your closet, storage, kitchen, or bookshelf, you may feel your mind extending into the kingdom of God. Taking old things away is to prepare for filing them with new things. Giving it up is not giving it up, but giving you up to God in heaven. I hope that you may experience it this summer. Your summer will be more fantastic than any year’s summer.