“Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” -Matthew 13:44
Friends, the time has come to sell all that you have and buy that field. As I wrote earlier, obedience often results from connections, but it always builds them. Sometimes we can’t wait for obedience to follow love. Sometimes we have to try to obey in order to develop our love.
And so I’m telling you, go buy that field.
During my ten months in Cambodia I’ve had the chance to experiment with my life. I’ve finally tried some of the things I’ve wanted to try for a long time. And I wish I’d tried them earlier.
This month, I’ve drastically cut my wardrobe. For about four weeks now I’ve been living with two button-ups, two pairs of dress pants, one swimsuit and one white t-shirt. I did it because I was starting to feel overwhelmed at the task of caring for my clothes. See, we don’t have a laundry machine here, so everything is either washed by hand, or taken to the cleaners. I’d done some of both over my previous nine months here, and discovered three things: (1) the threat of washing a full week’s worth of clothes by hand every Sunday is intimidating (and who wants to dread the weekend?), (2) I’m not willing to invest the necessary time to maintain a large wardrobe nicely (throwing your clothes in a bucket and stomping around on them for a few minutes won’t take out the ring around the collar), and (3) paying the cleaners adds up, and that is not something I am willing to invest in, either (especially when it comes out to be about half of my weekly grocery bill). Ultimately, I’ve discovered I don’t want to own more than I can happily maintain.
So I packed away all of my clothes except what I mentioned above. And it has been a liberating experience. I do laundry almost every day, but I’m able to clean my collars well in no more than ten minutes. It may not save me time in the long-run, but it completely removes the stress of a big load looming over my weekend. And, washing clothes every day or every other day actually keeps them much cleaner, because the oils don’t have days to sit around on the material before washing.
But better than all of these things is the fact that I’m finally living with the kind of wardrobe I’ve wanted to live with for years–ever since my last year of high school, in fact–a minimal, functional wardrobe that I can fit in a carry on. Last weekend I went camping, and I brought every clothing item I’m currently using. You feel super classy camping in dress pants. And surprisingly, you can still do pretty much anything you’d normally do. I didn’t feel inhibited at all.
Sometimes, we have a joy, or a dream, or a persistent idea that we should do something outside of convention. It might be as small changing our wardrobe, or as big as changing our career. Something tells us that we don’t need the same things everyone else has. Or maybe it’s not about owning something, but doing something. We know we want to have more deep conversations with people, or we want to start preaching, or we want to go to the city specifically to give a hand to the poor and try to tell some people that Jesus loves them and that He’s a really great person worth loving back.
But we don’t. We question, or doubt, or wait for the right time. And then our joy fades and it just gets harder.
But now is the right time. Go buy that field. You won’t regret it.
Go in your joy, sell everything you have, and buy that field.