Friday, October 09, 2009

Cleaning the Garage

I usually do not go into my garage, and for a couple of reasons. First, Jim and I have agreed that since on-street parking may be limited when he gets home he should have the option of parking his car in the garage. And secondly, my garage looks like this:

OK, maybe not exactly like this, but you get the idea.

There will be a day in the future when, with the help of a fairy godmother - aka FGM - (Bibbity, Bobbity Boo), my garage will be transformed to something that more resembles this:

But until my FGM answers my desperate pleas, I have some work to do on my own. Out of all the piles of boxes, books, knicknacks, games, spiders and webs, yard tools, furniture, mementos, documents, and just stuff, I must make some decisions:
  • What is worthless and, therefore, must be discarded?
  • What is of value to me?
  • What could be of more value to someone else?
  • What of this overwhelming collection of stuff is nothing more than sentimental rot?
I am aware of some of the across-the-board methods that the "experts" swear by for eliminating clutter, such as the two-year rule (If you haven't used it in two years, out it goes). But there are some things that you simply cannot apply that rule to. For example, I have a drawing of a half-beagle/half-salamander creature that a friend drew for me way back in high school. I'm sure it's tucked away between the pages of a yearbook (it's in one of these boxes ... someplace ...)  Is this drawing sentimental rot? To most people, perhaps. But to me, it is a treasure worth gold, because of the memories it represents. My eternal optimism says that since this is the only known picture of the world's only known "beaglemander" its value would be exponentially multiplied if I share it with friends who are part of that memory.

Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount that we are the light of the world. We are given gifts to share with others. Often we allow the endless clutter in our lives, such as relationships gone bad, overwhelming commitments, unexpected circumstances, worry, sinful tendencies, fear, procrastination, etc., to bury our gifts so deep that we have difficulty finding them, let alone putting them to use. Leaving our God-given treasures buried not only insults the One who gave them to us in the first place, it also withholds the blessing from those who would benefit from our sharing them.

I have been incredibly, infinitely blessed over the past years by someone who continues to take the time to walk me through the process of cleaning out my "spiritual garage" and uncovering my gifts, and continually encourages me to make the most of them. This has not been an overnight process, to say the least, but the journey is well worth the effort.

I would like to pay this blessing forward to someone who would like help in cleaning his or her spiritual garage and uncovering gifts for the benefit of others. If that person is you, please let me know.


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Good article.

May I add something else to the clutter we carry unnecessarily in our lives?

Memories - especially bad ones reminding us of past hurts and ill-will.

We may say we have forgiven those who hurt us - yet, the memories keep coming back as reminders and, if we're not careful, they stir up old feelings once again.

I suspect Christ remembers His bad times when He looks at the scars on His hands and feet and in His side.

And He forgives us once again.

Let's use our bad memories as a reminder to forgive once again those who have hurt us.

Mary from the Prairie said...

Victor, thanks for your comment. What a great insight you added!