Some may think I’m playing up to my Kiwi friends, but trust me when I say it goes far deeper than that. New Zealanders among other things, happen to be known as resourceful people, living near “the ends of the earth”, sometimes living in areas where one must come up with solutions on one’s own to fix or make this or that item. It’s one reason I love ’em. Certainly the same can be said about many people groups, indigenous people of NZ, Australia, Africa, the Amazon in South America, Alaska and so on.
It is often true of poor folks and rural folks who live in out-of-the-way places whether in the U.S. or otherwise.
Personal as well as shared sufficiency as an ethic and way of life is something I admire particularly in those cultures where learning and teaching others to use what is simply available to meet a need -or to make art of some sort, is celebrated. Of course there are those in most cultures that consider such a cool, even rather normal thing.
Folk art has always interested me.
I love the old Firefox books, Mother Earth News, various outdoor mags and online forums that share do-it-yourself project ideas. Online sites such as https://makezine.com/ and http://www.instructables.com/ get me thinking, learning and doing fresh, creative stuff.
Mind you, you do often “get what you pay for” but payment may be in mental effort, hands-on sweat, trial-and-error, but in the end (not always of course) you may well enjoy life more than simply feeling sorry for yourself and not arriving at otherwise viable solutions to needs and/or wants.
I’m not convinced of nor am a I a fan of survivalist conspiracy theories in the least, but I’ve read and re-read outdoor/backwoods survival books, mags and the like for years because the “how-to” with less info. is often quite remarkable.
The ball-and-chain of “more is never enough” can still drag at your feet unless you learn contentment isn’t merely nor only in being self-sufficient. When balanced with loving relationships in community and feeding rather than fearing imagination and overly concerned with others perhaps judging you for doing things differently you may just find a sense of grace and fulfillment that is obviously elusive for many.
A huge caveat is that Jesus indeed said “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” so material things are not going to meet a spiritual need -nor are they meant to.
You can neither create nor actually experience spiritual relationships with “stuff”.
If you alone are merely imagining a spiritual experience you are not having one.
That takes a relationship with God and people. I think it’s important I make that clear.
At the same time, there are many avenues to creating music on a self-made instrument, a serviceable if not “Gap like” piece of clothing, a pillow for your head or even a knife to whittle wood with.
There is a certain joy and sense of accomplishment that doesn’t come from either big box or online shopping.
Lastly, please don’t expect self-fulfillment via creating things on the fly to fill those deepest longings of the heart.
Thank God in Jesus Christ that happens in relationship.
Meanwhile, a little d.i.y. can be helpful and even therapeutic 🙂
As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn