I can't help but notice that the Gospels have a running theme: Detachment.
Detaching from people, possessions, the things of this world, our jobs (in the case of tax collectors and fisherman), and anything that holds us back from following Christ.
So what is an attachment? When does it become a problem?
Based on my reflection of the Gospels, I think attachments become a problem when they keep us from doing God's will. I remember an older friend of mine saying that detachment means "I'll be OK if I don't have this" -- that always resonated with me.
So what are the elements of God's will that attachments could influence?
It may be loving God fully and wholeheartedly. It may be responding to a call to serve Him. It may be following His commandments.
For me, I am challenged with the first of these. I find it hard to love an invisible and intangible God wholeheartedly -- especially on days when consolations are few to be found and I'm impoverished of experiencing God's love in a meaningful way. I find it hard to let God be my loving father figure. I find it hard to love a God who can't touch me, can't hug me, can't speak to me directly, and can't be present in a visible way in my life -- these are all things I value in relationships.
So attachments come.
But I have learned that life will detach us from our gifts if we don't detach ourselves, and that it is even more painful when life detaches you vs. you detaching yourself.
Detachment for me only comes with practice. It's doing something explicitly to detach and put space between. And often, it helps me honor the gift more fully when I practice it more.
Remember, all of life is a gift. Detach and hold it all lightly, lest it detaches from you.