Monday, August 11, 2014

Keeping a Loose Grip

. . . watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15 NIV

Do we have to leave my toys in this house?” asked my three-year-old daughter as she tugged on my sleeve. She couldn’t comprehend life without her precious baby doll and Fisher Price hot pink Big

Wheels car. I assured her she’d see her toys at the new house; they were just going to travel a long distance and we needed to keep them safe in boxes.

 Children get attached to their toys and the loss of a favorite “blankie” or stuffed animal can be tragic. Fortunately, we outgrow our need for playthings. But every time I move, I have to release my hold on my surroundings. I like to do a last minute walk- through of an empty home I’m leaving. As I’ve ambled through, surveying the rooms, I have stopped at a favorite reading nook, stared at an attic with a skylight, and taken a second look at a screened porch where we’ve entertained guests.

In one yard I said farewell to a perennial garden lovingly planted by previous owners with the blue delphinium and coral bells I’d anxiously waited for in spring. I’ve even mourned the ugly textured stucco on the walls of one living room where dust loved to make its home. Hardest, was walking past one particular laundry room where we’d penciled in the heights of our four children. I had visions of chopping out a section of the wall and taking it with me. What’s a little hole, anyway?

 When we pack up and move on, I’ve learned not to look back and covet a former home. It’s just a structure sitting on a piece of land. We leave, knowing we will make the next house a refuge full of new memories. Pictures will hang above the same sofa, our china cabinet will be brimming with the same crockery, and our bookshelves will hold the same well-read favorites. I know I will find joy in my new surroundings.

As Christian, God can call us anywhere to do anything. Will we be willing to leave our familiar surroundings?

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