LETTING GO OF THE PAST
After recently helping my parents move, I’ve caught the sorting bug around our home. I’ve gone through linen closets, the drawers, the kitchen cabinets… Our garage is next on my list and some of you know what our garage looks like and what a major project that will be for us. If you don’t see me for a few days, you might want to come check on things because we might have gotten buried alive out there or something. We seriously still have boxes that we moved from Texas to Indiana that haven’t been unpacked yet. We moved in 2002. That’s 14 years ago. I’m guessing we probably don’t need the junk in those boxes. I need to let it go, but why is that so hard?
It’s not always easy to purge the stuff in our homes because most of the items that are stuffed in the closets and cabinets and shelves have special memories that go along with them. There’s always a story behind each and every item. Going through boxes is like walking down memory lane for me. That’s why deep cleaning takes me forever and I usually give up before it’s truly completed.
How are some people able to give up their things so easily while others of us have such a tough time letting go?
We need to realize that the memories are in our hearts and minds and that we don’t need to cling to the actual item.
Letting go is one of the hardest things to actually do. Colossians 3:2 reminds us of where our focus should be. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
When I’m going through the boxes of stuff, I sometimes get stuck in the past. For example, I have several boxes in the garage that have all of my books, resources and lesson plans from when I was the youth director of our church in Texas. I don’t need these items anymore. Partially because I’ll never do youth ministry again and partially because anything I’d ever need is now a click away on a google search. But I struggle with letting go of this stuff because it’s a link to my past. I loved doing youth ministry. I love thinking back to some of the wild and crazy things we did to build relationships with the kids and to get them to see Christ’s love. It almost feels like if I throw these boxes away, a part of me will be gone. But I know that’s absolutely not the case!
I just read that “What God has in store for you is never in the past. He has something better.”
So, as I get up the nerve to tackle the mess in the garage, I’ll hold on to these truths. I’ll do my best to dig in and purge some of the junk I’ve been holding on to and I’ll eagerly anticipate what God has in store for my future. (And I’ll celebrate the fact that we can see the floor of the garage and maybe even get a vehicle inside before the snow starts flying!)
What do you struggle letting go of?