“I don’t need all these many mooses.”
I was at my grandmother’s house when my cousin Brooke, then three, gathered three or four plastic “mooses” from the living room window sill and offered them to me. “Oh no”, I told her, “You keep those. Those are your mooses.”
My seventy-something grandmother encouraged me to take the mooses in question home for my teenaged sons. That’s when Brooke pushed the plastic Happy Meal toys into my hands insisting I take them.
“I don’t need all these many mooses.”
I was uncertain as to my sons’ need for these many mooses but sensing the household’s urgency to get rid of them, I put them in my pockets and off I went. I suspect my grandmother was more interested in relieving her living room of the many moose decor than supplying my sons with much-needed mooses. I wonder if Brooke’s intentions were two-fold. Maybe her mom had put her on Happy Meal restrictions due to too many mooses and she figured lightening the load would open the door to more prizes. Probably she was in a giving mood and wanted to bless me with the traditional blessing of the mooses. Clearly, Brooke wasn’t concerned that she would be moose-poor if she gave all her mooses away.
I like silly sounding sentences and words so in general, if I run across something like “I don’t need all these many mooses.” it will remain forever locked inside my brain with Green Acres trivia and the lyrics to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” There is a large portion of my brain devoted to useless information that keeps me amused but serves little purpose otherwise.
Where the mooses are concerned, however, I sense a deeper spiritual truth. Yes, I said spiritual. Mooses can be spiritual if you stop singing the theme from Green Acres long enough to think about it.
I have many mooses as well. In fact, I have not only the original mooses in question, but symbolic mooses laying all over the place. Unlike Brooke, I don’t always have the smarts to unload my many mooses when given the chance.
Brooke wasn’t worried about not ever having another moose if she gave me all of hers. She could’ve given me just one or two, she could’ve even shown me her many mooses and then put them away. But no, she shoved all those many mooses into my hands and never looked back. I need to learn the lesson of moose giving. I have many mooses too in the form of clothes, shoes, household supplies and sometimes even money (!) that I could push into the hands of those who don’t have any mooses of their own. But I hold on to my mooses more tightly than Brooke. I worry that I will want those mooses again someday. Sometimes I can’t even remember where I put those mooses when years later it occurs to me that I kept them for some reason. I have run across mooses that are old and now useless that someone else might have needed had I not stored them away for a someday that never came.
Brooke knew that if she got rid of her many mooses, her mom was sure to replenish her supply. She had enjoyed her mooses, collected them, perched them on the window and then when she no longer needed them, she passed them to me with assurance that her mom would not leave her without a new moose supply. Or whatever the next round of Happy Meal toys might be. She realized she needed to make a space for the new prizes coming her way or she might miss out. With the wild and foolish abandon of childhood, she dumped her mooses and made way for whatever was next. No regrets for mooses gone by, that was Brooke’s attitude.
My grandmother had her own wisdom beneath the surface of the desire for a moose-free living room. She knew the mooses just didn’t fit the decor. They had served their purpose and now it was time for the many mooses to move along.
I need to realize that I don’t need all these many mooses myself. Instead of hanging on so tightly to my “stuff”; I need to give it away with wild moose abandon knowing full well that my Father has better prizes just waiting for a space to occupy. I also need to notice when my mooses no longer fit into the decor of my life, and that they have served their purposes. Time to give away all these many mooses.
My mooses are material, emotional and spiritual. Sometimes, don’t repeat this, my mooses are tithes and money. I worry that if I put my many mooses into the offering I will miss my mooses, that God will not make my remaining mooses stretch. Sometimes my mooses are memories and hurt feelings that I need to get rid of, so God can put better things in the spaces of my heart occupied by useless regrets and offenses. Sometimes my mooses are ways of looking at myself and the world that I have grown past, they don’t fit the decor of my heart anymore. I thought as a child, but it’s time to put away childish things. Certainly, mooses are sometimes childish.
I’m going to be brave, like Brooke, and start giving away my many mooses. I am going to realize that there is a better prize I can have only after I get rid of the old stuff. I’m going to redecorate my heart with things more appropriate than these many mooses. I’m not going to selfishly hold on to many mooses that someone else needs. In fact, I think that if I can be trusted to share my many mooses, God will increase my mooses beyond that which I could ask or think.
I don’t need all these many mooses either.
Give and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38