What happens when we live for material things? Material things seem to have so much power over oneself. Material things bring comfort, brief happiness, and a sense of power. We live in a world where we feel the more things we possess the happier we are. The more money we make the happier we are.
Just a small example of how material items have controlled my life, I spent an entire day cleaning out closets full of material items. Every item made me or someone in my family happy at some point in time. The happiness of each one of the items I purged had faded away. As I was purging it was very depressing actually. The amount of money wasted on items to make everyone happy. Not to mention the addiction to keep buying and replacing each item for the rush of happiness one gets with each new item. And what about the lack of appreciation? The more you own the less you appreciate or take for granted. Or what about taking control of your life and not allowing all the material things take over?
As I was purging items I was thinking what really makes me happy? I know the deep sense of simply being alive makes me happy. The people in my life make me happy. My relationship with God alone is happiness.
For True Happiness I need to fundamentally change my way of being in the world and change the way I live my life. God's will for all is to live a life of happiness. After all he created and saved us. He is the divine manufacturer. He made us and knows how we work. He knows that certain actions will lead us to happiness while other acts will end only in frustration and emptiness for ourselves and others. The moral law is like God's instruction manual for our lives. When we reject God's moral law for our own preferences, we are ultimately rejecting the Father's loving care for us.
I know being a slave of possessions will not make me happy. I know thinking the more I have the happier I will be is only a set up for disappointment. I am going to put forth the best effort in living in moderation, present in every moment of my life, and clearly distinguish between the necessities and unnecessary luxuries in life. I think asking the simple question of "Do I really need this and will I be happy without it?"
We should all open our hearts a little more to the wonders of the world and stop being mindless consumers. When we are moderate you stop concentrating on “the more, the better” and are able to see this spirit in everything around us.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. (Mt 6:19-21)