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In 2006, eight years ago, I retired and Joan and I move to a nearby retirement development called Leisuretowne. As we prepared to move we went through all our stuff to see what we should take with us and what we could give away or throw away. That in itself seemed to be an overwhelming project. However, one way I made it easier was to assign every three categories of stuff.
The first category was practical, functional, utilitarian stuff we used regularly to maintain a household. Anything from pots and pans to basic furniture. It was obvious that such stuff had to go with us.
The second category was stuff that had been packed up and moved from one home to another over the years, but rarely, if ever, used. Some of it was still boxed up from the last move, eight years before. Actually,some of it came from our first small apartment, over 40 years and five homes ago, since we were married. We saved this stuff because “it might come in handy some day”.
That stuff we threw away or gave away, depending on what it was and its condition. One such item was the electric meat slicer, which did nothing but take up space. We gave that away to someone who could really use it. Another example was the electric typewriter that Joan used in her younger days, but hadn’t used for many years. However, that item and a few others, came with us. That stuff that came with us is for the most part still in those boxes just taking up space. Maybe I’ll say something more about that in a future blog.
Anyway, the third category is stuff which doesn’t fit into either of the other two categories. It’s not stuff needed to maintain the household and not stuff to be thrown away. It’s stuff that has meaning to us. Some of it was and still is in use and some of it is still in boxes and needs to be reviewed and acted upon. This stuff consists of photos, books, letters, souvenirs, etc. It’s stuff that reminds us and can be used to tell others of all we have been through in our married life, our separate lives before that, and even of the lives of our ancestors and close friends.
It’s the kind of stuff that reminds us that we have been through good times and bad times. It reminds us of our families and friends who God provided to help us experience good times and get us through bad times. It reminds us of God who promised to make all things, good and bad, ultimately work for our good. It’s the kind of stuff that reminds us that God has kept and keeps his promises.
None of that stuff will be needed to maintain our home. None of it will be thrown away. However, some of it some of it has been and will be passed on to our son and daughter, friends, and others, with the hope that it will remind them and their descendants (and maybe their friends) that God keeps his promises. But for now, we will hold on to and treasure that stuff, gradually organizing it all, so that it is easily accessible, reminding us that God always keeps his promises.
So why do I mention all this ? Because soon it will be Easter. Which reminds us of how God kept the greatest of all promises – the resurrection of Jesus. The promise that, as the song say, “Because He (Jesus) Lives, We Can Face Tomorrow”, is being fulfilled every day, in the good times and the bad times. When the news from around the world and close to home is so bad that it seems there is no good news. When it looks like all is hopeless. Some of our stuff helps remind us that because Jesus lived, died, and lives in our lives today through his Holy Spirit, we can expect that there will be good news in the midst of bad news. We can expect that if when our hopes are in agreement with God’s good promises, plans and purposes for us ( individually and collectively), they will be fulfilled, in God’s time and God’s way.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
May God be with you,
Patty Perez and Ray Gough