The Box

A Reflection on Contentment

Several years ago, after my grandma passed away, my grandpa transitioned from their house to an apartment. As we were moving his belongings from his 2-story home, we managed to fill his 2-bedroom apartment and a single car garage with the things that were most important to him. We unloaded boxes and bags filled with items he wanted to hold onto.

Several years later, it was time for my grandpa to move to an independent apartment that was attached to an assisted living center. My grandpa was always a futuristic thinker and decided it was the right time to make this difficult decision in anticipation of any medical issues that may arise.

Again, my family and I were able to help him move from his independent apartment and again to his assisted living apartment. Before he moved this time, my grandpa, now in his late 80s, decided to downsize his belongings each time.

We moved his TV, a couch, a desk from his college days, and a small kitchen table. We carried his clothes which included a few flannel shirts, a couple pairs of pants, and of course, his trademark suspenders. There were also the kitchen supplies that included the coffee maker and a few dishes.

After we had unloaded all of the household essentials, only one thing remained—one cardboard box filled with the things that meant the most to my grandpa. I don’t remember many of the items that filled that box. However, I know that his cribbage board, a few decks of well-used playing cards, and his worn crossword dictionary were among them. I imagine there were a few pictures of his wife of nearly 60 years, a few pictures of his great-grandkids, and an address book with his siblings’ phone numbers. That’s it.

After over eight decades on this planet, my grandpa’s most precious material possessions fit into one, single cardboard box.

I distinctly remember the moment I saw the box. I paused for just a moment, fully realizing how unimportant material possessions truly are. After all that my grandpa had throughout his life, what mattered most, fit into that one box.

Recently, I read this passage from 1 Timothy, and it immediately brought me back to my to that moment.

“For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.”

-1 Timothy 6:7

So, as you sit around your Thanksgiving table tomorrow, take a moment to be thankful for all that God has blessed you and your family with.

Then, challenge yourself to be both grateful and content as we automatically enter the most marketed shopping season of all.

May you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

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