Thursday, February 4, 2016

Junk Drawers and Other Accumulations

"Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Matthew 19:20-22).

I have too much stuff. I've been trying to sort through all this stuff and I've discovered I've become my mother. She was a keeper by necessity. She lived through the depression years and hard times on the farm. Nothing was ever wasted. She recycled long before it was the 'in' thing to do. If anyone in the family needed something they turned to Mama and she would come through. She had bread sacks, gently used aluminum foil, and cool whip containers for the whole neighborhood. She would bake you a pie and put it inside a cereal box for safe travel.

I have that same 'save it' mentality. If something is still good but I never use it, I have a hard time throwing it away. Someone could use this. So how do you find that one, someone? I've delivered carloads of stuff to Goodwill in hopes that it will end up in that someone's hands. Sometimes I think about a garage sale because it is really good stuff that someone could use. But then I think about who would come to a garage sale in the middle of the country, let alone pay for any of my old stuff, and I laugh at myself.

So, I open a drawer and pull out an old Velveeta box and in it I find a half a dozen Wet Ones, a Walgreens pill container - empty, a Weight Watchers key ring, a lens cleaning cloth, and my magnetic name tag from Iowa Valley. None of it is worth anything, but I might use some of it, someday. The name tag is useless, yet it represents 12 great years of my life. And it all goes back in the drawer.

In another drawer I find my Iowa State University photo ID, an expired Driver License, two ISU Library copy cards, my Phi Kappa Phi membership card, an Iowa Newspaper Association press badge, and a bundle of auction tickets from my dad's estate sale showing I paid $2.50 for my Grandma Hilsabeck's washer stick, as well as everything else I purchased. Inside a baggie I find a clipping of my birth, "Mr. and Mrs. Corwin Springer, Albion, are the parents of a girl born at 5:30 a.m. Sunday at Evangelical Hospital." There is a hand written note by my Mama that says, "This was Mama's planter - she loved brass things." And a note that I wrote to my Grandma once when she was sick.

It is all just stuff, representative of something in my life, or too good to throw away, it seems. One day my boys will get the job and quickly toss all this stuff into a dumpster and wonder why I kept it all.

"Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession" (Psalm 2:8 NIV).

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