Day Eighteen: When Things Crowd In

31 Days Relishing Hope

At our house, we’ve been going through closets and drawers getting rid of all the stuff we don’t need anymore. Each kid had clothes in three different sizes. The garage is full of toys that aren’t getting played with and my husband had multiple pairs of dockers. He only ever wears jeans and shorts. We’ve been reaching past and stepping over this stuff for years. Why?

As each new room changed into an easier place to live, I wondered what took us so long? Why were we ignoring all this stuff in our way? I’m usually a purger. I love donating and throwing things away. It’s fun!

But just a few years ago, we put all our earthly possessions in storage for a year and lived without them. We only had our clothes and a few favorite toys for each of our kids. When it was time to pull all the stuff out of storage, we had mixed feelings. There were things we loved and were so excited to see again. There were things we forgot we had and wondered why we’d kept. And then there were things we didn’t bother putting in the moving truck. It was a little confusing.

To add to the confusion, we had lovely friends hand down wonderful things to us: toys, kids furniture, clothes. I really didn’t feel qualified to make decisions about what to keep and what not to keep, because I had been out of the “stuff” game for a while. So we gladly accepted the things offered to us and made them apart of our lives and closets and garages.

I think a similar thing can happen in the hope game. When we haven’t been actively hoping and asking God where to invest our hope, we will gladly accept the thing handed to us. All these hand-me-downs can crowd in and we can end up spending most of our day reaching past and stepping over them all day long. Like our wonderful hand-me-downs from friends, we need to make real decisions about what to keep and make apart of our lives. And pass on the things that aren’t for us to invest in.