I guess I'm just a pack-rat at heart. I just don't seem to be able
to throw things away.
I have been looking for something that I wanted to use in preparing this
column ...not just any old thing; I KNEW this particular item was put
carefully away because I didn't want to lose it. I can see it in my
mind's eye. I know I have it..SOMEWHERE. Put carefully away is right.
Now I can't find it anywhere. Oh, it'll show up one day when I don't
especially need it. In a way, I know where it is, only not exactly.
You see, I have so many similar items, just like this one, that I want
to keep and they fill all the spare space where I keep things. I checked
the drawers in both bedside tables, the dresser drawers, the boxes I
"keep"things in. I checked the big envelopes I file things in. I looked
under the mirror tray on my dresser. In short, I've looked everywhere
and still can't find it.
But while I was looking, I found lots of interesting things I'm saving.
Things I don't want to lose. Things I just can't throw way. Important
things. A love-note from my granddaughter I found hidden in my jewelry
box many years ago. She had drawn my picture and written,"I love you,
Granny" . She was about seven years old then..she just graduated from
college this summer. I can't throw that note away. I found one of the
last letters my mother wrote to me before she died.Nothing of great
importance is in it, but looking at her familiar handwriting, I can
almost hear her speaking. I can't throw that away. I found lots of
beautiful greeting cards from my family..birthday cards, Christmas and
Thanksgiving cards, Mother's Day cards, Anniversary cards. Each one has
a personal note written there, full of love . I can't throw those away.
Books and magazines are impossible to discard.
I find church bulletins , programs of special events, ticket stubs. Each
one reminds me of
something special that happened on that date. Sometimes it's a newspaper
clipping, or a handwritten note slipped to me at church. Sometimes t's
a rough first draft of a poem I was writing. I found notes from
strangers thanking me for "being there" for them in a little gift shop
in Gatlinburg, Tennessee called The Preacher's Wife. I find bows from
I found gift cards that had been attached to a bouquet of roses, or
spring flowers, personal gifts..notes from my husband that say "I love
you." I can't throw those away.
There are dozens of things like these. Every time I start to "clean
house" and discard "stuff", I start looking at them ---again. And I
can't throw them away. To un-enlightened eyes these things are just junk
and someday other hands may carelessly toss them in the trash. But not
me. I can't throw them away. They represent people and times and places
that were important to me , things that memories are built upon. And
those memories are precious to me. So, I guess I'll just have to buy
more storage boxes and envelopes. See, I just found this pressed flower
and oh, yes, I remember when it was .......
Are you smiling? Does this strike a familiar chord? I admit I go
overboard but there is some value in keeping these Snips and Bits of
Yesterday. All the memories are not sweet.
Sometimes an object will stir up old feelings of pain, disappointment,
anger, fear, grief, loneliness. Some of the feelings should have been
released long ago , dealt with and put in proper perspective. Do YOU
have "baggage" like this that you keep holding onto? Things undealt
with, still not settled.? Forgiveness not granted? Nor asked? Attitudes
that keep you from moving ahead?
I remember an unusual statement about King Saul on his coronation
day. The Bible says , "when they sought him, he could not be found."
They inquired of the Lord where he, Saul, was and , "the Lord answered,
Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff." (1 Sam. 10:21-22)
Don't let's be like Saul, hiding stubbornly or fearfully among the
remains and stuff of the past . Are we afraid that, if we kiss the past
goodbye and lay it to rest, that there will be nothing in the future
that will be worth finding, worth attaining, worth living for?
Ah, the God of Yesterday is the God of Today
and Tomorrow. He has wonderful things waiting for us Today and all of
our Tomorrows. He has a big shining bow tied on the gift of LIFE
ABUNDANT..but it isn't hidden in the stuff of Yesterday, whatever it
might have been.
So, I'll probably keep saving little precious things, but I know--I
KNOW..what they are;
sweet tokens of the past, but they are not
weights upon my spirit that hold me from living in God's Today. I thank
Him for the joys and
the memories and eagerly reach for His hand to lead me through the
Tomorrows yet ahead.