I have a junk drawer.
Don’t we all?
It’s that place you put the items you can’t find a home for anywhere else.
It’s a handy spot for concert tickets, boarding passes, and every ‘knick-knack’ imaginable.
Here, we park things we’re not quite ready to throw out…
Rubber bands? They might come in useful one day…
Safety pins? Why not hoard a few, just in case…
We’ve moved house a few times, and whenever we relocate the junk drawer remains untouched.
Moving generally provides an opportunity to sort out what’s worth keeping.
But our junk drawer just gets transported from one home to the next.
So the junk remains, unattended to.
And each year it gets more jammed full of forgettable stuff.
Everything else in the house is given attention, but it remains… forever junky.
We sometimes think a change will fix everything.
We believe moving houses, or jobs, or relationships, will solve our problems.
But while the externals our life might change, there are some very central parts of us that don’t in the process.
We usually just move whatever junk we have to another location.
We keep running with the same heavy backpack.
We can carry around emotional junk for years without realising how it’s impacting us.
On the surface, we might look OK – so we can convince the people around us everything is fine:
‘I just found a job – so relieved!’
‘I just had a baby – life’s busy!’
‘Just got a pay rise – so I’m good!’
‘How are you? Busy? Yeah, I know, it’s crazy hey…’
And meanwhile it slowly dawns on us, that despite the change, nothing really has changed.
Not deep inside.
And we might just have to tip the junk out in front of someone else before we realise what’s there exactly.
I have upended my ‘stuff’ many times, in many contexts – but there are still issues I need to sort through.
Thankfully my ‘tidying up’ skills have improved with practice.
My ability to sort things out is better than it used to be.
But I still need God’s help.
He has the ability to help me wade through the mess that keeps accumulating, and also remind me how far I’ve come.
And he has been changing me – over the years – from the inside out, with his unending supply of love and counsel.
God doesn’t encourage hoarding – but rather, offloading.
And believe me, he can take a load off better than anyone I know…
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest…”
(Matthew 11:28 NLT)