Musings from a promise-collector

Heirlooms vs Clutter

Friday, July 16, 2010

What heirlooms are in your family? Maybe it’s a special family Bible, china dishes, a trunk, a child’s toy, or even a certain recipe. Sometimes those things even seem obscure… like a little jewelry box that is in the shape of a donkey (which is something that I remember sitting on my great-grandmother’s dresser, and now sits on mine). Those things that are special to just our family. We all love those things that remind us of our family and our childhoods. Of things that remind of us possibly “simpler” times.

Sometimes we hang on to things that seem like they have value, but begin to clutter our lives. Like when you begin to save every issue of Seventeen magazine because maybe, someday, you might just possibly look at it again. Before you know it, your spare room is devoted to magazines stacked in various piles. The room you wanted to devote to a home office and library, is now so packed that you can’t comfortably move around and relax. And you are left scratching your head wondering, “How did it get this bad?”

I believe our spiritual life can be like this, too. There are things that we hang on to that we don’t need to. Sometimes we feel like we need to be super-involved in church, because, well, if we don’t do it, then who will? Then our calendars fill up with all of these good things that we are doing. But just because we are doing good things doesn’t mean that that is the best thing for us. The things that seem good, but take away from time with God – we need to seriously consider and pray about those things and seek what is best. In Philippians 1:10-11, Paul writes that he is praying for the church so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

The task of sifting through the clutter to find the heirlooms, the good things – it is a difficult task. Many things seem good in our lives. But through prayer, we can discern those things that God wants us to keep in our lives, and what He wants us to throw out… think of it as spiritual spring cleaning.


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