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Emptying

31August2012

Last week I finally cleaned out the storage locker. Boxes of books and personal files were moved to an office in the  building where our mission congregation rents space. Somehow I managed to cram the rest of it, including the artificial Christmas tree, into one half of our garage. But the truth is that we have too much stuff. Stuff we’ll never use. Some of it was my Dad’s. Furniture mostly. He died three years ago, and I wasn’t ready to part with it yet, but now it’s become a burden that costs me $61.00 every month.

This past Sunday at worship, during the time of confession, I finally let some things go that I didn’t realize I’d been hanging on to. In the silence, I gave the Lord my anger toward the driver who killed my aunt last Fall when his car crossed the yellow line. I always assumed he was drunk, texting, or messing with the radio, because I had a need to place blame – to find a reason for what seemed senseless. But my bitterness won’t change anything… except me. It won’t change what has happened, but it will make me miserable with myself, impatient with my children, short with my wife, and frustrated in my ministry.

So I let it go. Of course, the letting go doesn’t mean that the bitterness won’t return. Unlike the emptying of my storage locker, which was a once and done deal, our burdens have a way of coming back to us, in waves. Which is why daily prayer and confession are so important. Relinquishment and truth-telling are an ongoing process. Part of my sanctification. And yours.

As our family prepares for a garage sale now, I understand better than before that you can’t put a price tag on  freedom and peace. They are God’s gift to us, won through the death and resurrection of Christ. They are his promised rest for weary people who dare to lay their burdens at his feet.

JAM@CCD

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