A few months back, a mentor gave me an interesting perspective on tiny living. “What is enough?” he asked. “How many possessions does one need to live sustainably?”
That’s the question Kyle and I have been wrestling with as we pare down our belongings in order to fit into 200 sq/ft. As we go through those boxes we have never unpacked each time we moved, we’ve found it easy to say we don’t need this and we’ve kept it all these years just because we had space for it. We’re coming to the end of these easy boxes, however. Now we’re to the possessions that we would rather not part with if we didn’t have to – like the clothes, shoes, and accessories I wear sometimes, the kitchen utensils that I usually don’t use, but do often enough to keep it around, the books we actually enjoyed reading and might read again, the box of decorations that haven’t been put up in this house, but might be put up in the tiny one, the condensed version of hobbies that I might just get into again.
What is enough?
As we continue to design our space and look for appliances, we are hoping that 200 sq/ft will be enough. Let’s be real, it sounds a little daunting even to me sometimes. We hope a 10-cubic-foot fridge will be enough. We hope the kitchen counter space and storage spaces will be enough. When it comes down to making sacrifices to create more space, I may be asking myself if a hand crank washing machine instead of an electric one is enough….
But then, I pause and ask myself, enough to do what? To survive? To be happy, content, secure? To feel valued or to have worth? As a follower of Jesus, only Christ is enough. He is what brings me joy, contentment, security, value, worth. Not my stuff.
This verse from Ezekiel 44:28 stuck out to me this week. God says to the Israelites after they returned from their captivity in Babylon,
“I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel. I will be their possession.”
At first read, this sounds a little harsh. “Really, God? The priests, people who serve you for a living, get NO inheritance or possession?” Perhaps, instead of just being mean, he is addressing the question, “What is enough?” Perhaps, he is saying something like this,
“Whatever value inheritance or possessions have for you – whether it be happiness, security, value – I am enough. All of that doesn’t matter because I am your happiness, your security, your value.”
Through this little conversation between me and God, he again invited me let go of the misplaced values I put on my possessions and allow Him to be enough for me. I don’t need the cutest clothes, or even the perfect body to feel complete and valued, because He is enough. I don’t need lots of stuff, hobbies, conveniences even, because He is enough. That doesn’t make downsizing any less easy. But I choose to find my value and worth in Jesus instead of my things or in what people think of me. He is my inheritance, my possession.
Whether or not you desire to live tiny, God is asking you the same. “Am I enough for you?” What are you valuing more than Jesus? What is he asking you to let go of?