Richard Clark and I are really different dudes, and after reading his article on possessions, I wish I were a little more like Rich. You should go read “The Problem with Finding Feathers“, even if you do not care about video games, because Rich’s larger point is far more important than his collection of 25 video games. It’s about hanging on to what’s important, and the greatness of having mementos in life.
I have probably owned hundreds of video games. My collection could have began with the Atari system, or the Commodore 64, or the original Nintendo, or the original Playstation. But no, I do not have a single game from any of those systems saved as reminders, as souvenirs of how I spent my childhood. They have all vanished except the memories. Plus, I imagine my original Atari and some of my old games might be worth some real life loot now. Alas!
I need to do a better job of collecting things that are important because my memory is becoming untrustworthy. Just a couple of nights ago, my wife began a thorough cleaning and purging of “stuff we don’t need anymore.” We were sorting clothes and toys for a consignment sale. Hidden in one of the dark corners of the closet was a small box. My wife took it down and smiled, she said, “These things are not for sale.” She opened the box, and it had a few of the “onesie” pajamas my children wore as infants and little shirts they had toddled in. I had forgotten those little pajamas and shirts. I don’t know if I was imagining it, but it seemed they still even smelled like our children as babies. We just stared at the clothing, gingerly put the top back on the box, and returned it to the dark corner of the closet. That box was definitely not for sale.
The Lord Jesus knew the power of a memento. That’s why he left us with things to feel and taste to remind us of him. It’s why we have the Lord’s Supper and baptism. It is why it is so important to the church to witness them and participate in them. I think that Rich is right and I am wrong. I need to do a better job paying attention to what is important, and a physical reminder or two of special things would definitely do my soul some good.