Do you hang onto things? I do, physical things and habits, to name a few memories. I think I’m kind of a hoarder. And from what I can see, I think, all of us are to some degree or another.
My son-in-law was helping a woman move out of her home of twenty-five years this last week, and I went along to give a hand.
In her late “forties” I’d say with two sons in their twenties. I liked her. I get the sense that she is a gentle spirit, a person who trusts easily, maybe too easily, which isn’t a bad thing, but is can be a risky thing.
I think that our Father created us all to be gentle spirits. But some of us harden up in the face circumstances in order to get through them and remain that way. We call that being strong. Others are undone for a time. We don’t always see that as useful or a strength. But I think we were made to and should give into, being hard but equally able to be undone and not reject either nature. For after all, “There is a season, a right time…” Ecclesiastes 3:1CJB.
In preparation for the move she had to get rid of a lot of things and her one son was telling her how good a job she had done and that he knew it hadn’t been easy.
One of the things she held onto was a collection of Polish pottery that her mother had given her. And more than one time she commented that she should let them go but she wanted them to mean something, to really be wanted by whoever got them.
Sometimes I think one thinks they are betraying a trust, that turning lose of something meaningful to them in some way devalues the tie that once, or even still, binds. Maybe that is why she is hanging on to them for a bit longer.
Memories are powerful. We may persist in living in them, in the present because they are more comfort or pleasure than the present. True though that may be, sometimes in our discontentment now, we distort the memory of then, and lie about how good things used to be, just as the children of Israel complained to Moses about how miserable things were for them as redeemed and free people and how good they had had it when slaves. We may use them to justify not getting rid of and changing habits and behaviors that in the present are hindering achieving meaningfulness, healthy and rewarding relationships, peace and good conscience in the face of difficulty as well as ease.
Memories and the things we keep to trigger those memories can be good and bad. We determine that.
When we come to the Lord, we come with “things”. Most of them are things we need to be rid of or at best, need remolding. It’s about giving up control and self worship and self justification and allowing our Creator to remake and re-prioritize our hearts and our purpose. For the promise is:
“…I know what plans I have in mind for you, says ADONAI, plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 CJB.
We can’t have that result in our lives if we are not willing to downsize, set to the curb the old ways and the tendency to hang on to the past.
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and keeps looking back is fit…” Luke 9:62 CJB.
Memories are history. They are reminders of good and bad times, wise and stupid actions, hurtful and kind behavior and the emotions those events resulted in. We can use them as lessons learned when we hold them up against God’s Word for reference. And I suppose it is not a bad thing to remember. But they are past. It’s a new day. And we do not need to let them control or dictate the future or who we are to be. The God in whom we place our trust and to whom we are obedient, does that.
Father I pray for the lady and the anticipation of a new life she has. We pray with her, in her prayer that You will guide her and position her rightly according to Your will and purposes. We pray that she will experience the release and relief that turning lose of the old and familiar and trusting in what You provide, will surely bring to her. We pray that she will see your hand in all this and give You glory.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.