It is startling to think about how hard we all work to accumulate. Some people gather cars, baseball cards, jewelry. Others gather land, clothes, furnishings, pets.
Why do we accumulate? Psychologically, we think "I will be happy if only I have [fill in the blank with whatever possession you are currently seeking].
When we get it, wow! How we love it, at least for a while. Then we discover something else and start coveting it. The cycle repeats over and over, until one day we look around and we have all this stuff. Our closets overflow, we can't park our car in the garage, we're renting a storage unit. Definitely first-world problems.
Yet, we are not happy. If only we realized early how all the possessions would not ultimately contribute to our actual happiness.
St Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” (Confessions by Augustine of Hippo)
It truly is the God-sized hole we are trying to fill as we accumulate. Sadly, very few recognize it before they have spent an extensive amount of money on frivolous objects when they could have been using it in more productive ways.
I have been called too pragmatic at times. I will accept the descriptor as I embrace evaluating items I purchase in relation to true need and long-term usefulness. Rather than caving to our consumerism culture, I resist the urge to impulse purchase items just because the marketing strategies play on my subconscious desire to possess.
The two criteria, true need and long-term usefulness, work really well to keep me from accumulating. They free me up to spend my money wisely, even having the ability to share my blessings to build up the Kingdom of God for others and let Him fill the void within my soul.
The icon of St. Augustine of Hippo is from the Catholic Online website.