(AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)
What do you collect? The other day, an interesting story about a stamp collector came within earshot. Apparently the collector is a very studious and meticulous fellow, willing to expend large amounts of both time and money to study the most minuscule details of the stamps of a particular European country and the variations produced by the print apparatus at various postal facilities where the stamps themselves are manufactured. A rather narrow interest niche.
It started some musing about choices that we make - how we spend our time, how we spend our money, whether our hobbies own us or we own them, and what good deeds or meaningful moments don't happen because we and our resources are unavailable.
One or two viewings of Hoarding: Buried Alive on The Learning Channel ranks right up there as a "scared straight" experience - a very sobering look into the theft of people's time, resources and relationships. For some people, like the elderly couple from Chicago, the loss is very nearly their life itself. It is surely reminiscent of the Princess Amanda story from Tales of the Kingdom where Princess Amanda keeps a forbidden dragon's egg only to discover her beloved and cute baby dragon grows into a fire-breathing deadly monster willing to kill, and willing to kill her, the very person who nurtured it.
The Bible says to lay up treasures in heaven where they are safe from the destruction of the physical world and the harm that others may bring. (Matthew 6:19) Here are a few ideas for some low-risk but satisfying collections.
- Start a collection of good deeds done for others.
- Start a random acts of kindness for strangers collection.
- Begin a kiss album, keeping track of kisses in unique, beautiful, strange,
and/or memorable places.
- Note the beauty of nature by logging your bike trips, or hikes.
- Get into "good reads", then watch and enjoy your own growth of character
- Cherish the beauty of relationship by journaling memorable walks in solitude with your
God, or with your kids, your sweetheart, friends and/or critters.
The possibilities are endless once you realize you can be more than a collector of stuff.