Where Thieves Break In

A colleague of mine recently moved to a new apartment after his roommate left and his lease was up. He travels lightly and made short work of the move. I wish I could say I would be able to do the same, but it would take me a while to move all of my stuff.1 I wondered aloud about the difficulty of moving my record collection. Another coworker said “one man’s treasure is another man’s trash,” inverting the old aphorism. I stared at my records filling the bottom four cubes of my IKEA Kallax shelves.

I’ve had trouble with the idea of collecting things in the past few years. Part of it goes back to the words of Jesus in the book of Matthew:

“Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, CEB)

I can’t help but feel like whatever I have shouldn’t mean that much to me, anyway. What will happen to these objects when I pass? As the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you. I think about my record collection potentially being something my kids have to figure out a way to get rid of, once I’m gone. Then again, maybe they won’t feel like getting rid of them.

I appreciate this post about collecting from Jason Kottke. In particular, his closing comment stuck with me.

I have never been much of a collector, but my 22+ years of efforts on this site (collecting knowledge/links?) and my sharing of photos on Flickr/Instagram over the years definitely have resulted in some of the same benefits.

I like this idea of what we collect being less material. We can collect, knowledge, wisdom and beauty without acquiring things.


  1. Again, this is why I call myself an “aspiring minimalist” in my bio. ↩︎

Robert Rackley @frostedechoes

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