Joel Boutin, believes that having an overabundance of material things doesn’t necessarily enrich one’s life, and I agree. Essentially Boutin believes that less is more?
Surprisingly, Joel backs up his position bigtime by living the simple uncluttered life he once dreamed about.
According to a newspaper article printed in the Boston Globe in 2014, [Joel Boutin lives in a 128-square-foot house built of two-by-fours on a trailer bed in the backwoods of Durham, NC.
There’s no overabundance anywhere. No running water, sewer, heat, or electricity. And he likes it that way. Can you imagine how the absence of overabundance could excite anybody? More likely than not, you can’t unless you’ve experienced the negative side of possessing an overabundance of things, people, and places to live.
Overabundance is defined as excess, or in possession of way more than is needed. As a matter of fact, it’s even deeper than that. Acquiring an overabundance of anything results in having too many things that are barely used. Essentially, this is not the life that God envisioned for us.
Placing more importance on pursueing and attaining worldly things rather than on ministering to, or tending to those less fortunate is not good.
Knowing the true meaning of overabundance helps us recognize overabundance in our own lives. Basically, “too much of anything qualifies as an overabundance. It’s possible for anybody to possess an overabundance of things.
Admittingly, I do wonder if Mr. Boutin still lives in his tiny 128 sf house? Surely he didn’t return to a life of abundance. You probably know what I wish I could ask him, “how did that work out for you?”
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29
About a decade ago, I started evaluating how much living space I actually needed. Essentially, it became obvious that some rooms in our home almost never got used.
So, I decided to estimate how many square feet, or rooms we didn’t really use much, and compare findings.
To my surprise it turned out that the family utilized approximately 2/3 rds of the space on a regular basis.
As it may be, having financial security, a big house, fancy cars and popularity is not the only example of living in abundance. It seems that even the middle class and poor people can be guilty of having excess.
After all, abundance is simply having large quantities, way more than you need.
The thing is, the older I get the less space and stuff I need because my needs are not as great. For the most part, my desire is to give what extra I have to the grandkids, and their parents if possible. Funny how life has a way of redefining priorities without notice.
More importantly, these days I take issue with spending money on unnecessary items, goods, or services.
Paying the electric company to light unused rooms, clean guest bathrooms, furnish vacant rooms, or buy more food than I can cook before spoilage occurs bothers me. Having an abundance of anything is no longer an aspiration.
Perhaps, I’ve grown, matured, or possibly become more like Christ. The latter is my ultimate wish. No longer dying to acquire things that I can live comfortably without changed my life.
By way of example I can honestly attest to Joel Boutin’s claim that, “having an abundance of material things don’t necessarily enrich one’s life!”
For most of us, wrapping heads around John’s perception of abundance is unthinkable. Moreover, many of those who profess to agree in public backtrack in private.
, For the most part, it takes practice and patience to adapt to living a bare essentials lifestyle. Something else, most people aren’t wired to ward off excess to live lean. It’s just not a good look in a world fueled by greed.
For this reason, it is not uncommon to see middle-aged people suddenly realizing that they can live a comfortable life for much less than originally thought.
With that said, it stands to reason that living conservatively, and certainly within one’s means is how God wants us to live.