The Collector

My friend curates fashion accessories. He once asked me what I collect too. Bags? Shoes? Cars?

For the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything. I don’t accumulate much. I also discovered that after many years of seeking comfort in food, I’m not even a foodie. Besides toasted muesli and chinchin, I’m not passionate about any type of food. I’m a culinary philistine.

Now, if I were to start collecting things, I would gather space – wide open spaces. I feel joy when I step into a really big room with minimal furniture and neutral colours. I dislike clutter and superfluous items with no clear function.

I would collect experiences – the joy of traveling to new places.

I would collect people too – deep, meaningful and intellectually stimulating friendships.

I would collect knowledge – the wisdom that comes from books, training and God’s exquisite mind.

A few days ago, I started cleaning out my room. I gave out clothes, shoes and bags. I also gave out books. I gave out my Dictionary, Concordance and Bible. It’s amazing how all these things are now apps on my phone. This year, I also bought a dedicated tablet for Bible study. I needed WiFi for cross-referencing, but wanted to avoid the annoying pop ups from the apps I use daily on my phone. I just wanted my Bible, Kindle, electronic notepad and Google on my tablet.

I have a few physical journals, collected over from the last couple of years. I can feel the irritation slowly building due to the space they occupy in my bookshelf. Unfortunately, I love handwriting my notes. Maybe I’ll scan them afterward and burn the physical copies. I’ve also gotten used to buying books but never writing my name in them. This makes it easier to gift them as they take up too much space.

It’s alright to collect things. By all means, buy anything that gives you joy. Purchase them, just because. You need not use them. Joy is a function in itself. Happiness is a good enough reason.

But, in addition to collecting things, give things too. Also give of yourself. Find out what God has equipped you for – the thing he’s put his Spirit on and made easy for you to do. Prioritise it and prioritise Him. Let God work through you to create beauty in the world. It may not look like it now but your gift may make you great someday. Therein lies your prosperity and legacy.



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