A Time to Discard

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I have resolved to read more and discard more.

Recently I was reading some familiar passages of scripture in Ecclesiastes 3 that begin:

There is a time for everything

And a season for every activity under heaven:

A time to be born and a time to die

A time to plant and a time to uproot

A time to weep and a time to laugh

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

The scriptures continue but the one that especially caught my attention was the following:

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

Whoa. That scripture is for me, and maybe for you, too.

A point comes in time when the cup runneth over. And so do our closets and our garages.

That is, there's just too much accumulation; too many outdated magazines, old calendars, out of style clothes that jam the closets, shoes that no longer fit, extra ball caps.

Those many items that once fit a purpose but no longer do. There's the leather coat that won't zip, the boots that pinch, the clutter of junk, baggy jeans, books that you intend one day to read, old bank statements and old eyeglasses and cases. And old chain saws and worn out lawn mowers and rusty lawn furniture and old tires.

As the scripture points out, a time to throw away.

We have become entangled, smothered by extraneous stuff.

No, it's too early for spring cleaning.

But it isn't too early to take inventory.

On these cold wintry days, we can look around, and inventory those items that need to be kept and those that need tossing.

We might call it our own personal warehouse inventory. There are the excess dishes and pots and pans, surplus curtains and pillows, used bath towels that have been replaced with new, Christmas decorations that have been stored, unused, season after season,

We're talking excess here.

A friend has begun to rid her house of dust catchers, those dozens of in-expensive collectibles that sit on end tables, coffee tables, and shelves. Many of those items were gifts, thus she has been reluctant to part with them.

But the time has come to throw away or give away, not to keep.

"I need some breathing room," she says.

She's taking inventory of items in her attic and storage sheds, too.

.In many communities there are mission houses that collect clean quality items for the needy. Many churches set aside a room whereby food and clothing is donated then distributed free of change.

There is a time for making resolutions.

And a time for keeping them.

But there's also a time to let go of unrealistic goals.

A time to search and a time to give up.

There is a time for everything, including discarding..