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Moment Redeemed


I spent some time helping my aunt this weekend. She recently bought a storage unit full of stuff without knowing exactly what was in it. The previous owner of the unit had passed away and it was auctioned off.  The contents of the unit proved to be a surprise to her, as she moved it all into her house and garage.  As we sorted through boxes and bags, we discovered many of the items had never been opened. There were packages from Macy’s with brand new sweaters inside, and boxes of items ordered online and then stashed in the closet. Most of these things were new around the 80’s and 90’s time frame, but they had never been opened! There was so much of it.

This reminded me of when I was a kid. See I had this TERRIBLE problem. It was bad. Like I should have been on the show “My strange addictions.” I used to go around the house throughout the day and find things I liked or thought were useful, then I would take them and put them in my dresser drawer. Weird. I know.  This included, but was not limited to: Candy, money, toys, clothes, stickers, kitchen magnets, gadgets (like nuts and bolts) rubber bands and tooth picks… (ya never know when you might need one a them right!?) My mom called me a pack rat and rightfully so.  I always thought I might have a use for these items later, but in reality they just sat in my drawer. FOR YEARS. Until I was old enough to realize this was a ridiculous waste of space and emptied the darn thing.  Anyways…

So here I sat, opening boxes of old, new, unused gifts. Strange paradox huh. I think I spent the whole two hours wondering why the woman had bought all these things and then just stashed them.  I mean, I know some people have hording issues (like I used to) and maybe this was her way to “fill a void” in her life. But really it made me kinda sad. I opened a box of papers she had saved from way back when and out fell a paper towel with something wrapped in it. As I pulled apart the paper I found dried rose petals.  They must have been precious to her as she had saved them for years.

Made me think of the dried roses I keep above my kitchen cabinets that have meaning to me. Bouquets from the first Valentine’s Day I spent with my husband, my wedding flowers, and my sister’s wedding flowers those type of special things people save.  But now I’m staring at her special dried flowers wondering what moments in her life she must have cherished represented these? Days gone by.  Gifts unopened.

The brevity of life is haunting when it hits you. When you remember that you are just dust and breathe which will soon return to the Maker.  No one is exempt from this fate, and when we are reminded of this truth we try our very best to put it out of mind. Yet even though they are uncomfortable reminders they serve a purpose if we let them – to spur us on to live to the fullest with the time we have.

Now I’m going to share a secret with you… and you might think I’m odd… but here goes – I don’t think cemeteries are creepy (usually.)  When I was younger I used to help my family clean up our local cemetery because my grandpa was in charge of it. I would sit on the headstones and lay in the grass.  Often I wondered whose life the crumpled names represented. It gave me this healthy reverence for the fact that I am alive today, but someday I will just be a name and a memory.  I don’t like death – Not one bit. I hate the loss death brings. No one is immune to it. And honestly I’m afraid of dying.  But how beautiful is it that the soul is eternal? As I walked over those headstones, even ones that belonged to my great grandma who I loved, I am grateful that she lives today (very much a live) with Jesus.

What can we say about today then, since we still have breath in our lungs. I think we waste too much time on Facebook, TV shows, anger and worry! Think about your life … what gifts do you have stashed away in the closet (Not literally of course, those might be for Christmas!)

What gift of your time, your love, your talents, your creativity, your passions might you have stashed that you can give the world?  God has specific things for you to do with your precious life that only you can accomplish.  He has set dreams in your heart on PURPOSE. Are there things hidden in your soul that you have a desire to do but you always tell yourself “I’ll do that someday”?

If not now – then when? If not you – then who?

I want to make the most of my time and this is personally something I am working on because it takes balancing.  There are some practical things we may need to figure out to accomplish those dreams (like for me… where to contain my kids while I write a book…) but Someday is TODAY. And today is all we may have.

So please don’t stash your gifts! Take a step towards using them. Be bold with your life and live with eternity in mind.  For the wise, living Word reminds us:

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Ephesians 5:15-17

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