Lighten Up

Yes, the featured image is a coffeemaker in the trash can.

It all started this summer with a garage sale. Going through possessions we no longer want or need left me confused. Why did we get these things in the first place? Why don’t I want them anymore? Would someone else find value in my old driver that hits the golf ball about twenty yards less than my newer one? Why would anyone want the stuff that we don’t want?

A pile of goods remained after the sale that we couldn’t even sell for 1/20 of their original cost; many we couldn’t even give away. Clothing, books, housewares, toys, etc. So I piled it all into the car and made it someone else’s problem (or opportunity). The items went to a local thrift store, and when leaving I thought, “suckers!”… and I’m sure they thought the same of me. I looked at the back of the car and it was empty. No boxes, no vases piled up, just empty space with no passengers. The load was lightened. Hey that actually felt pretty good!

Arriving home, it was refreshing to see the front yard as it had been the day prior. It looked like a yard again, not a marketplace. Same with the garage and basement; no junk piled up. My closet was less cluttered, in fact all of our closets were less cluttered. I instantly felt lighter, as if a heavy burden had been removed and it was a very good feeling.

In the months since the garage sale, quite a few more items have made their way out of this house. More clothes, and even as I type I’m recalling a broken coffeemaker in the basement next to some sushi plates and some old games that we no longer use. The coffeemaker was broken but I thought someday I might fix it. Nope, I will never fix this thing so it is going into the trash right now. As a result, there’s an empty space. vacantspaceThe sushi plates on the left were a wedding gift, and we HAD to have them. We dreamed of making sushi all the time, being fancy and hip with our outrageously cool plates. They were expensive, and they are beautiful, but we don’t use them anymore; they just sit in the basement waiting for their next move. There’s more stuff piled up to the left of the plates, I don’t even know what that stuff is, how we got it, or if we ever used it. Looking at it stresses me out. It is baggage; symbolic of waste in my life.

The yard sale theme came to me today as I as reading 1 Timothy 6 and thinking about the term “content”.  I think sometimes I’ve shunned this term with the thought that it is better to get more, to do more, to never be satisfied. While sometimes we should strive for more, there are other times when we should just be content. Content (adjective): pleased and satisfied : not needing more (Merriam-Webster)

But godliness with contentment is great gain, (1 Timothy 6:6)

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:8)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

We live these lives desiring more, sometimes thinking that contentment is for the weak, but then we’re usually left with a pile of unused stuff in the basement, garage, and closets. Each day presents a new opportunity to say goodbye to something, to say no to selfish needs and to God’s will. The yard sale relates to physical items but over the last few months my heart and soul have longed to rid some of the other waste in my life that leave me empty inside.

  1. What “future yard sale” items do you have in your life? Asking this metaphorically of course, but it never hurts to get rid of things you don’t need.
  2. What good things can and should we start saying no to so we can start saying YES to great things and leave room for us to see the many miracles God has given us? #eccmiracles
  3. From our first morning thought, what is our heart’s desire? Doesn’t that symbolize where we are in our daily walk? Let your first waking thought tomorrow and every day you are blessed with from here on be, “thank you God for another day to serve you, to know you better, and to be loved by you”.

2 Kings 9; 1 Timothy 6; Hosea 1; Psalm 119:73–96