Time to sort the junk drawer

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)

20 Comments

  1. So very true, It is hard to get rid of old habits, old mindsets, old emotional baggage, but the relief when we achieve a new level of perspective and growth is so amazingly uplifting! From one fan of clearing out the junk to another, happy changing! God Bless!

    1. Yes – a new level of perspective is always so refreshing! Cheers to a more ‘ordered’ and progressive life with the One who loves us best 🙂

  2. Great analogy – our internal baggage is a bit like the junk drawer (for a minute there, I wondered if you snuck into my house and peeked into the skinny drawer by the fridge…)

    Thank goodness God can produce change in us- if we let Him.

  3. I loved this Ali, and the analogy is wonderful. I tend not to look in my junk drawer too often, the physical one or the inside me one! So He sends me sweet friends and family that ask me about stuff, stuff I’m used to just stuffing, and I get to pull it out and look at it with someone safe and my Jesus. Then pitch it if it isn’t useful!!! (but that doesn’t seem to happen much with the other junk drawer! haha!)
    God bless you as He encourages us through you today!

    1. Haha, yes I can relate. I’d rather look at the emotional one too 🙂
      Thanks for that. It’s wonderful how he provides ‘mirrors’ – friends that challenge us to take a look at areas we may not have thought to look at… and Jesus is most wonderful at that isn’t he.
      Blessings and thanks again,
      Ali

  4. WOW this is a good piece to read and concentrate on which I will in just a little while as I have to attend to something away from the net, but I can tell you I have lots of junk draws and I suppose that means I have lots of junk around! Pack-Rat maybe? OMG, I have a lot of sorting work to do and you reminded me! This is a good boot in the arse!😉 🌈🌞

  5. “We can carry around emotional junk for years without realizing how it’s impacting us.”

    “Thank God for Ali”
    Yes Ma’am Ali….You nailed it down here as to how we many times keep house and how we should keep ourselves tidy or organized, in another sense prepared or even just preparing for addition changes coming or necessary alteration and altercations that life here on earth can throw at us; because we aren’t in heaven yet; not by a long shot!
    I was initially caught up in the truth of what you said pertaining to me literally as far as the physical stuff in my life, all the extra baggage and if you saw what I mean you would have pity on me I’m sure, you might even offer your services for a fee to streamline this ship I dwell within! It’s like a cargo ship of sorts and never mind a cargo hold the whole place is one!!! How did I do this to myself? It started small like your story analogy with a junk draw then two, three and four, but after a while that didn’t work no more! So, then a closet became another even larger junk storage location to keep just about anything I could fit into it that I wasn’t sure what to do with it or thought do I really want to part with this thing, or maybe I’ll have some use for it someday, right? Sure I could deceive myself easily once this ball got rolling gathering up more of its own inertia until it was a bloody freight train roaring down the tracks with a mind of its own basically telling me to stay out of the way and I’m just along for the ride now! Who is running this train anyway, it sure isn’t me and as far as I know I’m present and accounted for but there has to be somebody else around running this building catastrophe? Now that my garage has taken on the appearance of the closets what can be next? The whole property becomes a draw of junk or buried under so much of this stuff I’m living in a Junk Yard? I remember as a teen me and a couple of buddies would love heading over to some what we called “Junk Yards” or auto salvage businesses where all sorts of neat old cars were lying around because they still had some useful parts or even a motor that could be scavenged or brought back to operating condition with a rebuild and as we said back then dropped into a hot-rod making for a really cool machine! Things got nipped in the bud in those days because if I brought one junk car onto my parents property my dad would say something like, “what are you doing with that piece of junk,” to which I would reply, well dad it’s a really cool car and needs some parts and fixing up but it’s going to be a really nice car. He would say, “Look a car to me is transportation to get me to and from work or from here to there but not to pile up on my property because it can be cool.” He would then give me an ultimatum to have it off the property by a certain day or he would have the rubbish hauler come take it away, “so hurry and sell it or junk it.” Of course as an adult I’ve had many years to develop whatever habits I want and account to no one but myself right? So, here I am with lots of things that need a home or a “Junk Yard” but not here where I live and make my home! And this is just the literal material Junk we are talking here in my life because we haven’t even touched the surface of what it’s like on the inside or in the figurative sense the worries or clutter in the mind or the not letting go of that which is “not helpful and practical” as my dad always called it, so too that a person frees themself from the “things that make us weary” which Jesus was referring to in the scripture you kindly left! “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)
    Perhaps this verse or little prayer is key in this dilemma,
    “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change…the Courage to change the things I can…and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
    The part here where it says “Courage to Change,” I’ve been a bloody coward not letting go of many things that I don’t need or actually want on my back, but built up a false sense of security by holding onto anything and everything that is attached to yesterday and the past, remembrances and keepsakes that never did what I thought they would for me by holding them tight, so I just kept holding onto additional things perhaps subconsciously thinking these will do the job but they never do! I have to do the job not things or anyone else, just me with God who is there for me always to give me the confidence to just let go and move on! Man this is so awakening and hard too, because being overly sentimental I have allowed not only things to pile up but my emotions of past times or joys long since passed, just never gotten over them or been resolved, the fact that they are gone now and won’t matter tomorrow because tomorrow brings a new day and a new dawn or awakening of who I really am, NOW, I’m not back in the past I’m in the here and now and this is who I am! This reminds of something else dad would say when I was growing up how, “some people can’t live down their past or let go of it,” but now by your nice essay you remind us how Jesus Christ can solve any problem or help us through any difficulty we may experience but we have to be honest and really turn it over to Him and then ask him to show us the way we need to go or how to handle one thing or another! What I did was allowed illusion or a façade to transfix me on past, thinking it can remain when it cannot and is gone so it’s time to move away from the past and leave it where it belongs, as sad as that might be it is what is best! “Everything has its proper place,” and dad like mom said that many a time to me and my siblings when we were growing up learning what life is all about!
    God bless you sister in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence
    I’m publishing this today as my newest article and hopefully as a learning tool, thanks to you dear Ali.

Comment on this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s