Will Accumulating Stuff and Money Make You Truly Happy?

When my wife and I moved into our first apartment, the only items that wouldn’t fit into our 1971 Mercury Comet were the sides of my king-sized waterbed. Everything else we squeezed neatly into the backseat and trunk. Books. Clothing. Guitar. Flute. Toothpaste. Toothbrush. Hairspray. That’s about all we owned.


By the time we moved out of that cramped apartment, we needed a friend’s truck to help bear the weight of our growing collection. Bags of baby clothes. Photo albums. A newer guitar. A fake Christmas tree in a box. And a partridge in a pear tree. Three years and two children later, our friend’s truck was far too small for our next move. We had enough record albums, cassette tapes, eight tracks, appliances, bookcases, dressers, diapers, and baby bottles to sink a small naval vessel. I fear that if we were to move now we would need to raise that sunken naval vessel and hire the National Guard to fill it.


Solomon wrote, “Riches don’t last. And the king’s crown doesn’t stay in his family forever.” His father King David agreed: “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it…” A friend was paying for lunch one day and he showed me a card he keeps in his wallet. It says, “God owns it all. I’m just His investment manager.” On the back of the card were some Bible verses. Here they are: “Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here….Don’t store up treasures here on earth…store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also…. All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize….For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”


My friend told me he likes to keep the card near his cash as a reminder of three things:
1) God owns it all.
2) Earth is not my home.
3) God blesses me so I can raise my standard of giving. I like that. Let’s stop this silly business of active accumulation and start the more thoughtful and joy-filled process of wise distribution.


My kids are helping me with this. They’ve already begun writing their names on my nic nacs.

Posted in

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

Related Posts