You are driving through a typical neighborhood how and notice a garage door open. Inside are boxes, lawn equipment and other items that completely fill the space. Parked outside are two late model automobiles. The cars are expensive items and in need of the garage for protection from weather, vandalism, etc. How do we come to be so emotionally attached to rarely used items and neglect caring for something more essential?
Another example of emotional attachment is observable in estate sales. Living in Sun City, Arizona gives me lots of opportunities to visit them. I’ve noticed that many people amass an enormous amount of household, garage, and miscellaneous items that are never used. I remember a conversation with an elderly person. She had collected so much in her home that the house was littered throughout. But the collection now was so overwhelming that the thought of where to begin was too overpowering and never got done.
What do I mean by attachments? Attachments are people, objects or activities that absorb time, money and emotional energy. Attachments become replacements for a more significant, meaningful, fulfilling life. Attachments usually interfere with significant relationships.
So, why do we attach ourselves to so much that it becomes a burden to maintain? In this 21st century by the time a child is in junior high he feels that a cell phone is an essential need of his/her life. So, for most teenagers the cell phone becomes attached to his body and from that time on he is never found without this electronic essential. But it’s more than an electronic gadget. For the average person it becomes something that consumes his life. (I’m betting that you have a cell phone and it holds a significant control over your life.) For most of history people never had instant communication, but in this “enlightened” period of history we consider them essential. Who was more blessed — them with their simplicity of life, or us with our complexity?
And this new gadget is also accompanied with a financial obligation that must be paid monthly. It is also accompanied with many features that seem to become necessary to live a fulfilled life. This vital attachment rapidly begins to consume time with texting, talking photoing, game playing, etc. Face to face relationships diminish are replaced with pseudo relationships.
And what about our attachment to an automobile. Who can live without wheels! It’s an expensive necessity. Right? My grandson, Noah, graduated from high school last May, and realized that transportation was now essential, so he purchased his first used car. He had hardly driven it home when he found that something needed repair to the tune of a couple of thousand dollars. This was in addition to license, insurance, fuel, and regular maintenance. Attachments can be expensive!
And what about credit cards? We have convinced ourselves that life cannot go on without at least one. It doesn’t matter that we are much more prone to a rising debt. Another attachment that is controlling our lives!
As we leave home to gain independence we realize that we need a place to live. So we are attached to monthly rent. It also comes with the cost of furniture, a large screen TV, food, etc. For most of us we will be strapped with the cost of home maintenance.
But I’m also thinking of other things that attached themselves to us. Like our favorite sports team. We feel obligated to support the team, wear the jersey, attend games, or watch them on TV. And then we have favorite music groups that we have to listens to.
I hope that by now you are getting the picture I’m painting. It is symbolized by people who have their garage so filled with “necessities” that there is no room for the automobile. And the garage/auto analogy symbolizes the greater problem of things that clutters our lives and keep us from experiencing inner peace, joy, and Christ’s love. And what we don’t realize is that the more we accumulate the more difficult it is to get rid of it because we have become emotionally attached to it. If you don’t recognize it in your own life, I’m sure that you can think of someone who illustrates what I’m describing.
I recall reading about a man who decided that he wanted to live with only essentials that could be kept in his backpack. He wanted the freedom to travel with the absolute minimum of attachments. So he did it and found it to be very liberating to him. (You’re probably saying, “Good for him, but I want more than that”)
While pondering the problem of attachments I’ve made these observations:
1. Attachments absorb my time.
2. Attachments spend my money.
3. Attachments demand my space.
4. Attachments crowd out more important values.
5. Attachments rob us of significant relationships with people.
6. Attachments rob us of a more vibrant relationship with Christ.
Here’s the bottom line. I’ll phrase it in the form of a question. How much are my “attachments” robbing me of more important life values? Why do I find that more of my personal contacts are through texting, rather than setting down in face-to-face relationships? Why do I spend so little time in fellowship with the Lord, but so much time with my “attachments?” Why am I tethered to my cell phone, video games and TV?
I challenge you to honestly consider how attachments are crowding out more important things.