Today’s post is the fifth in a series of posts about issues in our homes and hearts that may be in need of some spring cleaning. To read the first in the series, click here.
Today, let’s work on the attic. What do we store in the attic? Often times it is a collection of old and historic items. I think of trunks full of grandmothers quilts, clothing that we tuck away for a season, clothing we tuck away thinking someday we’ll wear it again, family keepsakes, or items we hold on to as a memory. In my “attic storage” places I have pictures and scrapbooks, my cowboy hat and boots, books I’ve read but don’t want to get rid of and all the prom dresses my mom made for me. I even have a milk crate full of stuff that I have kept from my school years.
A number of years back I dug into that milk crate and was surprised (and amused) to find all sorts of notes from my friends that I had kept. You know, the notes that you weren’t supposed to be passing in class? I had quite a few. Dozen. Or more. Some were really fun to read, and some made absolutely no sense to me at all without the context of high school life. And then I ran across some from an old boyfriend. And I realized that by holding on to those I was still kind of holding on to him. Or at least the idea of him. So I felt I needed to get rid of the notes, and I did. But I realized that wasn’t enough when he died recently and I was really shaken. I had gotten rid of the physical evidence of that “lost love” but hadn’t fully let him go. Now, I don’t want you to think that I have been pining away for him for years, but just like the papers at the bottom of the pile in the office, there was some stuff I had buried instead of really dealing with head on.
What we have to learn here is that while holding on to some of these things has value, how many of those old things in our attic represent something in our life that we are holding on to from the past? Some things may be good to keep if we use them as reminders of God’s provision and protection, but not if we are pining for a lost love or mourning a lost dream by holding on to these things from the past, whether they be physical or emotional. When we are holding on to the past, we aren’t living in the present and appreciating what God has given to us and where He has placed us here and now. In addition, we are not looking forward to where He is calling us to go from here.
So we have to look into our hearts and find out what the issue is. Are we afraid of the future? Do we lack of trust in God and His promises? Do we feel like God hasn’t gotten it right? Are we unhappy with where we are because we are too busy looking backwards and spending our time on “if only…?”
It may be time to clean out the attic and let some things go.
What are some things that you keep or have kept in your attic that have surprised and amused you? (My parents once had an accordion they kept in the attic – that was always a fun one for us girls.)