One of the things I both like and dislike about moving is going through and cleaning out all of our things. Moving provides a great push to downsize, organize, etc. Who wants to lug thousands of pounds of stuff across the United States every few years? At the same time, the more sentimental part of me wishes I could have an attic where I could store old yearbooks, photographs, favorite baby keepsakes, etc. and leave them untouched...waiting for a day in the future when the sound of tiny feet no longer pound, in my case, throughout the house, and I have too much "me-time" and not enough time with my boys.
Alas, I have no such attic, and we just moved to a part of the U.S. where 1 square foot of living space costs about $500.00 - ouch. Not only did we move, we added a kid and downsized. Our garbage man knows our house!
After getting over the emotional woes of throwing or giving things away, most of which I won't miss but maybe on a very seldom occasion, I am convinced of the many positive aspects of clearing the clutter. It is difficult to live a purposeful and intentional day, much less life, when you are scattered and time is wasted because things are lost (ahem...misplaced). One of the boxes that found the trash bin this month was high school memorabilia. One binder, in particular, contained poems and other such creative writings. I held onto them for so long because I felt they were pivotal in shaping my identity.
However, as a child of God, this is flawed thinking. When we put our faith in Christ, we find our identity in Him. The earthly things we feel define us should not anymore. Our past does not tie us down any longer, we are new, we are free. We have a different mindset and therefore, we should also have different emotions. Instead of our identity being formed by our horizontal relationships, our vertical relationship with God provides the basis for who we are.
Little boy #1 loves to cut. So, as I sat and cleared out the notebook, I handed him the paper that once had a hold on me. Without a thought, he eagerly began cutting all of them up, gathering the scraps...and throwing them in the trash. I smiled at his carefree letting go of all of the paper and wished I had held on to God's promise of renewal many years before.