Is it hard for you to get rid of things? I always thought I was pretty good at keeping my life clutter free but I’m realizing it’s actually become harder as I get older. Or maybe I’ve always been a saver and it wasn’t as obvious until my years started accumulating along with my stacks of stuff. It is hard to let go of those things that represent a lifetime of joy. How does one decide when it’s time to let go?
I am very sentimental when it comes to most everything in life. I’m the one who thinks of the special while midstride in the ordinary … the one who imagines how magical a moment could be if only rearranged … the one who reminds others to soak in the fleeting beauty sprawled out before us. I’m the one who stops to not only smell the roses but to photograph them for future sharing and reflection, and the one who keeps the special keepsakes to give to others at just the right moment in time.
So being the psychoanalytical pontificator that I am, I decided to delve into the human psyche and see if I could untie the knot we so affectionately call “Keepsakes.” When is it time to let go? I’ve heard people say, “ I could never part with this.” I feel quite certain that I, also, have said those words on many occasions. In Lewis Carroll’s, Alice’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice says, “Oh no, I could never part with this (her departed father’s pocket watch).” The character called Time tells Alice, “Everyone parts with everything eventually, my dear.” Time is the central theme of this Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”
There are so many wonderful quotes that I decided to add them here as a list, as they are rather thought provoking.
“Time is against you and you’re being careless with it”
“Time is a cruel master”
“Time is a thief and a villain”
“Your time is up”
“Every second counts”.
“Time gives before it takes… Every day is a gift, every hour, every minute.”
“Enjoy the “present, if it’s not too late…”
“Time is a friend to no man”
“Time and tide wait for no man”
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
“You cannot change the past, but I dare say, you might learn something from it”
Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
I guess the question would be then, where is your treasure? In Mark 10:17-27 The rich young man in this passage asked Jesus what he needed to do to follow him? Jesus answered him saying, “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.” The young man walked away because he wasn’t willing to let go of his stuff. Those things were his idols but we have many more idols than our things. It could be your family, your position, job, reputation, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness, greed, fear, self loathing, regret, unhealthy lifestyle, addictions, jealousy, past hurt, grief, self pity, or laziness. The list goes on. All of these things can keep us in bondage if they are placed above all else.
This might be a good time to go through our stuff to see what needs to be gotten rid of or given away. It’s also a good time to go through our heart to see what we need to get rid of so Jesus can set us free from all the ties that bind us.
We all deal with life in our own way. Our time is left up to us to manage and make use of as we see fit. That is an ominous thought! What do you do with your time? How do you manage your belongings? Both can spiral out of control if we aren’t careful. Some people go to the extreme and are unable to get rid of anything, and it literally becomes a burden. The things own the person instead of the other way around. Some people keep their life streamlined to the point of having very few worldly belongings — only the necessities. Most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes. Some people are such good time managers that they seem to get two lifetimes out of one! I don’t like to lean my life up next to these people … I feel I fall way too short.
I think the key to finding the balance is realizing our precious things really are just that, things. We attach a sentimental value to them as they represent a better time, an important person, or a treasured memory. I believe some of us feel like we are betraying that person or that moment if we let go of the thing. If we can put in proper perspective this earthly life, then maybe we have a chance of living free from the stuff that can paralyze us. For those who know Christ this life isn’t it – it is just a moment … “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:17
I’m thankful Jesus has my life in His hands and he knows the hours and minutes of my life. I can rest in Him, trusting every detail of who I am and who I will be to His care. The stuff doesn’t really matter in light of eternity … so, I’m getting ready to dig through the tubs, boxes, files and let go. The burning question will always be, what did I do with the time I was given? I won’t be asked what I did with my stuff? It will all be gone … only what I do for Jesus will last.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss