Hoarding


Ida has mud caked all over her. She was rolling in mud again. She should think about washing it off before she goes home, but she won’t. Elephants like Ida enjoy rolling in dirt and mud. Sometimes elephants pick up dirt in their trunks and dump it on their heads or backs. They also use their trunks to suck up water and then dump it on their bodies.
                                                                            
Instead of going with her friends to wash the mud off she went home. Just before tracking the mud in her house her mom stopped her. “Ida, what are you doing? You have mud all over yourself!”
                                                                          
Ida looked down at her large feet and said, “Oh.” As quickly as she could, she backed out of her doorway and hurried down to the pond. At the pond she rinsed off. It was difficult, because the mud had dried and was caked in the folds of her skin. It was stuck in the tuft of her hair on her head. She couldn’t look in her ears, but she was sure there was some in there too. Sighing, she put her head under the water to see if this would help.

Shaking her head underwater, she lost balance and fell into the pond! Now she was soaked. Struggling to get out of the pond on the slippery slope, she almost fell back in.
                                                                         
     
Finally on firm ground, she carefully shook off the water. She was so glad no one had seen her. Everyone else had gone home. It was getting late and she needed to hurry.

After she finished eating, her mom told her to get ready for bed. Ida carefully inched her way through her room. She had many piles of things she had collected in her room. Ida’s bed was a pile of grass on the floor in the corner. Soon she was fast asleep.

The next morning, her mom woke her earlier than normal. “Ida I hope you slept well. I woke you early because you need to clean up this room before you have your breakfast. You haven’t been doing a good job at cleaning up your room. I want you to make it sparkle!”

Ida looked around at her room. She thought her room looked fine. She didn’t know how to make her room sparkle. She got up and pushed her grass pile together. Then she went to her leaf collection and straightened it up. Next, she stacked her branch pile back up. Her rock pile looked good to her, so she left it the way it was. Smiling, she left her room for breakfast. After her breakfast she went to school.

When school was over she went straight home because her cousin was coming over. Daisy, her cousin, ran to Ida when she saw her. Ida asked if they could go play and Mom said they could, but not to get dirty.

Ida took Daisy to play a game with stones. These stones were smooth and round. The idea of the game was to take turns picking up the stone in their trunk and rolling it toward a hole in the ground. Part of the strategy was to roll one of your stones into an opponent’s stone, knocking it away from the hole. Each elephant had three stones. The first elephant to get a stone in the hole won. Ida was a champ at the game and won often.

After a few games, they went to the pond to cool off. Using their trunks to get water, they sprayed it on themselves. Soon they were squirting each other. They were quickly drenched. Oh, no! They were not supposed to get dirty! Ida realized her mistake. She told Daisy they needed to stand in the sun and dry off. They didn’t want to splash mud on themselves while walking away from the pond. Trying to walk on tip toes is very difficult for an elephant. Carefully they walked to the open area and let the sun dry them. It didn’t take long because it was a very hot, dry day. Using their trunks, they brushed the dust off each other.

At home they ate a nice dinner. Then Daisy and her aunt went home. Ida was sad because she thought they were going to spend the night. Mom told Ida to come with her to Ida’s room. “Ida, I told you to clean up your room today, but I see you didn’t. Look at this mess! I have told you many times about all this stuff you keep bringing home. It doesn’t belong here. We can hardly fit in this room. There is too much junk in here!” Ida looked around, but didn’t say anything. Mom continued, “I didn’t let Daisy stay because you didn’t obey me and clean up this room. You have piles of leaves, branches, and rocks all over! I got you up early today so you could take care of this mess. This is not the first time we have had this conversation. What do you have to say for yourself?”

Ida said, “I’m sorry mom. I thought I could keep my collections so I straightened them up.”
   
Mom explained, “Ida, I told you a while back that you could keep a few pieces not hundreds! Now, pick out five small rocks, six leaves, and two small branches. You have got to learn you do not need to surround yourself with so many things. It is more than a little cluttered in here. You could trip and hurt yourself because there is just no room to move. And there would never be enough room to have someone sleep over.”

Next morning, Ida spent time going through her collection. It was difficult for her to pick out the ones she wanted to keep. She wanted to do what her mom said, but she also loved her things. It was a very long and sad process. It took much longer than it should have. She finally got it down to the limit her mom gave her. Then she had the task of carrying things out. Every time she took a load out with her trunk she realized more and more how many things she had collected. On one of the trips, while carrying a large pile of branches, she tripped! She went sprawling! She skinned her chin and scrapped her arms. The pile went all over the place. She felt the anger with herself more than the pain of the accident. She knew it was her own fault she fell. She had tripped over one of the rocks.
                                                                     
She got up and picked up every branch and stick. It took her most of the day to finally get her room empty. Then she took a small branch that still had leaves on it and held it with her trunk and swept her room.  

Her mom came in to check on her progress and was thrilled at her work. She said, “Now you made this room sparkle! There is room for more than one elephant in here! You can go to Daisy’s and see if she wants to spend the night.” Ida gave her mom a huge hug with her trunk and then hurried out.

On the way to Daisy’s cave, she promised herself she would never have more toys, collections, or things than she needed ever again!

Boys and girls, I told you a story of an elephant that collected too much stuff. She was what some call a hoarder. It caused her problems. It disrupted her family life. There is nothing wrong with having toys and stuff, but we need to make sure we are not collecting more than we need. You may have extra toys, books, puzzles, or clothes you don’t need. There may be children that don’t have many toys and clothes that you may be able to give your extra stuff to. Always talk to you parents before you give things away.

The Lord wants us to be thankful for our possessions but also not to keep more than we need. The Lord will let you know if you need to get rid of some of your possessions. He will use your family to help you decide how much is enough and how much is more than you need. Let Him guide you.

God’s word talks about a foolish rich man who made bigger and bigger barns to hold all his crops. You can read about him in Luke 12:13-21. He was very impressed with his wealth and viewed it as important. He trusted in his things instead of trusting in God. There are other verses that warn us to not store up more than we need. You can read about not worrying over stuff  in Luke 12:22-34. Psalm 62:10b if riches increase, do not set your heart on them. Matthew 6:19a Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth… verse 21 says, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be. Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This is also vanity. Vanity is pride. Abundance is more than enough or overflowing. The verse says a person with too much is not happy even when he gets more and more. Having a lot of stuff does not make you happy or joyful on the inside.

Memorize: Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This is also vanity.


Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.

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