Thursday, June 25, 2015

Getting Rid of Stuff

Do you want to know the best way to be ready to return to work after a vacation? I've discovered it.

Consider this. You've worked for a while (perhaps a long while) to save up money to get away. Family vacations are nice and all, but going anywhere is going to cost you some cash. And for the sake of argument, let's assume you added some extra time off. You won't be at your destination all that time. You just added a few days at home, in order to get some stuff done.

There it is.

You just gave your wife unfettered access to your skills and labor around the house. That garden won't weed itself. The thorough cleaning and reorganization of a kitchen needs a partner, right?

For us, it was cleaning out the garage. Because when you clean out any other area of the house, the garage becomes the new catch-all. Let's just put this stuff we don't want to look at in a bin in the garage.

Cleaning it out later became cleaning it out now. When moving the vehicle and the bikes out of the garage does not leave a lot of uncluttered space, you know the job needs to be done.

But now the difficult part of the job is deciding what to do with all that stuff.

  • The tools you used once. 
  • The gloves and balls and bats.
  • The wedding gifts you received almost two decades ago. 
  • The toys your kids have outgrown. (Maybe the grand-kids will like this stuff.)
  • The trophy you won for a spelling bee in first grade. (Yes kids, spelling is important.)
  • The graduation caps and gowns. (There might be a costume party, right?)
  • Old pictures and yearbooks. (Seriously, how cute was I?)
Five hours after we started, I was driving a truck-load of stuff to donate. Let it fill someone else's garage. The fact is that we did not need this stuff. We hadn't used it in 20 years. Even some of the stuff we kept was mostly for sentimental value. Very likely, our kids will have to sort through it when we die. We'll consider that payback, I suppose.

It was unnecessary clutter. And if you're looking for the spiritual connection from a pastor, here it is. Go check out Galatians 5 for your spiritual garage. There we find the Apostle Paul talking about freedom from the law, which was simply clutter in the way of our freedom in Christ. 

You'll also read about the acts of the sinful nature, which we've all got a list of. Some of it will bring back memories and some of it will be hard for us to let go of. But if we take an honest look, we'll realize it's just taking up space that could be better used. 

The biggest difference in cleaning out the spiritual garage and getting rid of stuff we don't need there is that we don't need a few days off to get it done. You simply need to partner with God and let Him sort out the junk. 

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