When my father died, my family and I went to his place and took what we wanted. There were many things that were selected by myself and my half brother and sister. We took a look around our father’s place and brought the things that we deemed as valuable back to our own homes.
I took all of my dad’s tools. Within the collection, there was a box of random parts. He had probably gathered these little odds and ends and placed them in the box because of the limited space he had within his place. My dad was a minimalist. He made due with very little. Within the little box, there were a number of different fasteners, random pieces that I could not figure out what had once been used for or why they had been saved. There were a few things that I had ran across which took me back to certain times within my life; moments that were still framed, triggered by the little pieces within the box.
I dumped the box out onto my workbench Saturday night and went through the pile of miscellaneous. I picked out some of the things that I could use and placed the items into the little compartments of my workshop. What I didn’t see as something valuable, or as something that couldn’t be implemented at a later time, I placed into the garbage.
These little remnants of the past, the unknown reasons for my father’s decision to save what he had collected, the hand-picked pieces that were gathered and the junk that he had decided to hold onto: all of these things took on a completely different meaning within my many thoughts, Saturday night.
I was spending some time alone that evening, tidying up the workshop that had been a total wreck for the last few months. I had all of my father’s tools to hang in the desired spaces, the little box of remnants to go through and a lot of cleaning to accomplish. I took the time late Saturday night to do it all. As I was reaching the end of my tasks, I dumped the box: sorting and reminiscing. Remembering the good and bad times with my dad. I was weeding out the useless and throwing it away; within the box of remnants, as well as within myself. I had decided to throw out those things that had no value. Those things that could no longer be used for any beneficial reason.
I’ve always been a collector of obsolescence. Things that could have been discarded: harmful practices and hurtful memories. Things that only hindered and cluttered the spaces that could have been cleared out in order for new and useful things to fill them. I would hold onto those little things that had only taken up valuable space.
The little box had a lot of meaning. It was a collection of the things that my dad had been. It was a reminder of the dad I hardly knew for many of my years. It had me thinking about how he was a huge reason for holding onto the harmful things within my life that only took up the spaces that were in desperate need of clearing out. Those little places that needed to be tidied up. The remnants that needed to be observed, decided upon and discarded. The things that had no value that needed to be thrown away, in order for joy to fill them.
Why do we hold onto things that we no longer need? Why is that pain within us so hard to let go of? Why are those things that are not within the present moment, so important to us? Why do we collect the little things of no value and hold onto them, so incredibly tightly? Why do we keep the pain of the past within reach?
I think everyone has a box of junk they need to go though.
I encourage you today to go through all of the useless things within your life that take up valuable space. The spaces that are cluttered with junk. The spaces that could be filled with less. Those spaces that are longing to be filled with the things that bring peace. I pray this morning that you let go of what clutters your space.