I had a garage sale last week and got rid of a lot of stuff. There was one small problem however. After it was all over, there was left-over stuff that nobody wanted. Sigh...
Nothing was beat-up or broken. Everything worked/looked fine but the person who needed/wanted these things failed to show up. At this point, I needed to make a choice. I could either bring the stuff I wanted to get rid back into my house or I could get rid of it.
The thought did cross my mind that perhaps I could sell the items on eBay or maybe I could store them and attempt to sell them at the next annual garage sale. Wait a minute! What am I thinking? I had spent several weeks gathering up and sorting through things I no longer needed or wanted. I had cleaned out my closets, rearranged things to my liking and I exulted over the end result. Bring this stuff back into the house again? Never!
"I refuse to allow these things to darken my doorstep!" I declared emphatically to my husband. "If I do, they will never leave again! There is no longer any place for them here! They must go!" Though tired, he agreed.
My son who had stopped by, looked over our inventory and selected a few items that he needed. For example, the printer/scanner that I no longer need and is in excellent condition is going to replace his non-working one. Good!
I had previously done my homework so we made several piles. A file cabinet in excellent condition is being picked up by the Salvation Army next week. A heavy 5-foot table I used for garage sale that has a bashed corner has been replaced by a new (and much lighter) folding table so it is going to be picked up with our trash on Friday and will be scrapped. I can't take it to the recycler myself because the top would need to be removed and than cut-down into small pieces. For a nominal fee, my trash hauler will do that for me. To me it is worth the price. All I care about is getting it off my property.
Another pile was unwanted books. I could get a few dollars for those and some may even find a new home. Then of course, I had a pile of stuff that I was going to take to another local charity. Since those things were all in fairly good condition, I am hopeful they will find a new home as well. Finally, there were a few things that I could neither donate nor put into the trash but I could recycle them. The county recycling center does not open until Wednesday morning so I am stuck with them just a little bit longer.
I dropped off everything on Saturday except the table, the file cabinet and the stuff slated to go to the recycling center on Wednesday. Everything fit nicely into the corner and we can now get our cars back into the garage. Hooray!
It would be tempting to leave the stuff where it is because it is somewhat out of the way but no. It needs to be gone! It is not welcome at my house any longer.
This got me to thinking, how much "stuff" do I have tucked away in the nooks and crannies of my heart and mind. How many things have I kept around because I have grown attached to them, think I might need them or I have simply become used to shoving them into a corner and working around them? How many times have I cried out to God to "clean out my house" but I refuse to participate in that process. Instead of rolling up my sleeves and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me how to toss out junk and keep my heart junk-free, I whine about how hard it is to live in a junk-filled, cluttered house. Why doesn't God just wave a magic wand so it will all go poof and I will be free to fill it up with more junk once again?
Some of the "junk" in our lives is immediately hauled out by God but sometimes God requires us to use a little elbow grease. For example, He can give us a sweet, calm temperment but perhaps it is better if we learn how to manage the temper we have. Hmm...you mean I must take responsibility for my own actions and I don't get to blame them on other people or things? That's right.
It is time for us to roll up our sleeves and ask God to help us clean out the junk in our lives and get rid of it once and for all. He is more than willing to do so, we just have to ask Him.