We think about this a lot actually.
We invite things into our lives. We buy things: groceries, shoes, clothes, appliances, animals ... we're given things: toys, games, art equipment, tools - and everything that comes into our lives requires work.
We need to find a home for it - shoes go in the shoe cupboard (not under the deck); art equipment goes into to the library and used freely and lavishly (not saved for a rainy day!); toys are put into baskets and boxes (not left in the garden, or for Daddy to trip over at bedtime); the washing machine that won't fit into the old hole needs to wait till Daddy makes the hole bigger; food needs to be neatly stored in the pantry and fridge till it's consumed - and on the list goes.
And then we need to maintain these invitees: the dogs need their nails trimmed, coats brushed, cages cleaned, food purchased for them (and teeth taken out when their baby teeth stay firmly fixed in their mouths even after their adult teeth have come through); the washing machine needs its filter cleaned; the vacuum cleaner needs to be emptied and have ITS filter cleaned; shoes need to be kept clean and in PAIRS; containers that held food need to be washed when they are empty - and on and on and on that list goes.
And often, new things into our lives come with or become rubbish. Empty packets need to be thrown away - not everything can be recycled, bits break, paper and cardboard that have been scribbled arn't kept forever.
Most people have experienced the feeling of wanting to "dejunk" or "declutter". It's an amazing feeling and can leave you feeling very free and suddenly the house is lighter and larger!
But a battle goes on when you come across something that was either a gift (and you don't use it even though it was very nice) or something that you paid a lot of money for (but don't use now, or it is broken). And something inside us screams "YOU CAN'T GET RID OF THAT." But you know what? You can. If you don't you'll probably need to find a place for it - and maybe even continue to maintain it.
One of the most sneeky evil things that can creep into people's lives comes via the television. You may not even realise you are inviting it in. As soon as it gets switched on - you've invited it. And your children may be sitting there taking it all in, processing it and being damaged by it.
Speaking about television it reminds me of a song we sing around here:
Whatsoever things are true
Whatsoever things are honest
Whatsoever things are just
Whatsoever things are pure
Whatsoever things are lovely
Whatsoever things are of good report
If there be any virtue
and if there be any praise
think on these things.
That kind of rules out pretty much most if not ALL of the stuff on TV.
(The tune is one that I made up, but the words are Gods :o) - Philippians 4 verse 8)
So we try to think VERY carefully about inviting things into our lives. And it helps when we remind each other.
Whether it's something major like a swimming pool (yes please!) or a 12-seater van (OH YES PLEASE!), or a packet of cheese - we don't allow JUST ANYTHING in.