It was a ritual mandated by mom that once we finish school and we start our holidays, we were asked to clean our book shelves and throw away the old books and the trash that got collected for the year. This was a clever way my mom got us to clean the house while engaging us during our two month summer vacations.
The biggest conflict then and now has always been – “what to throw away and what not to”?
So, it was a festival holiday on Friday and I decided to clean some of the shelves at home. We began with my daughter Jessica’s room, since she had so much that I dint have an account of all what Jessica had. Just a few days ago, I found a handful of pencils which I never bought her, when asked she dint give me a reasonable answer and that really worried me. Its not about the pencils, its about how she is managing to get them and from where? And I strongly feel, children need to be given instructions, if not they will be instructed by the world out there!
So, as I emptied one shelf after another there was so much I just wanted to throw away!
The benefits of throwing away the not useful items are manifold –
- Creates a clean, manageable home.
- Makes space for better, new things.
- Helps us have an account of things we have and where to find them.
- A good way to spend time with children, teaching, playing and disciplining all in a go.
- You can always give away surplus to those who do not have (Could give some toys to my watchman’s kids and maids kids).
- Can teach children to follow some routines and inculcate the idea of getting rid of the unwanted and the unnecessary.
There used to be some tough moments as child, when there were certain old toys which couldn’t be cleaned or dusted enough to make them better but still were close to my heart to throw away. Some old diaries and a lot of certificates and medals which would have got rusted and dint have any use but I used to preserve them. I also had the habit of collecting my exams papers where I had scored good marks or where teacher had mentioned very good or excellent. But over the years the papers would disintegrate and would be left to dust and sometimes would be a hiding place for all sorts of creeping insects!
And throwing all those things close to my heart has been the toughest part of it all. Today, when I look back I know I will choose a clean, tidy shelf to a messed dirty, loaded shelf but the journey towards this place was a conscious effort. To reach this place, the most important thing is to consider all of those things as WASTE or RUBBISH, that’s the paradigm shift that needs to happen in the mind. I’m not sure how my children will react and grow, waiting to experience their learning curves!
Alright, what does all this thing about trash teach me??
I love to relate what Paul says in Philippians 3:8 – Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
So, Paul clearly says – To gain Christ is the most important thing and for that he considers everything else RUBBISH. And when we look at the list of things he considers rubbish, it just amazes me…
From verses 5-7 the things he considers rubbish are –
- Circumcised on the eighth day – Signifies his Physical observation of the LAW
- Of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin – Signifies his state of being from the CHOSEN PEOPLE of GOD
- A Hebrew of Hebrew – Signifies his originality; could mean that Paul was born of true Jewish blood, that there is no Gentile in his linage
- As to the law, a Pharisee – Signifies his knowledge on the matters of the Law
- As to zeal, a persecutor of the church – Signifies how much he was action-oriented
- As to righteousness under the law,blameless – Signifies his state of being lawfully correct
Paul was an intellect, he had everything to boast about but he considers all of them as RUBBISH, he trades them all for knowing Christ. That’s powerful!
Back to our own lives, I am not sure if we can say like Paul but are we living on the leftovers of yesterday’s hurts, wounds, situations, failures or it could be on the other hand achievements, successes, family background, social status or anything else coming in between us and Christ????
Can we throw it all away and allow Jesus to rule and reign our hearts?
I would like to end this post by quoting Roy Hession from his small little book which influenced me immensely. The Calvary Road (Link for the online book)
If, however, we are to come into this right relationship with Him, the first thing we must learn is that our wills must be broken to His will is the beginning of Revival. It is painful, humiliating, but it is the only way. It is being ” Not I ,but Christ,(Gal 2:20)’ and a ” C ” is a bent ” I.” The Lord Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through until the proud self within us is broken. This simply means that the hard unyielding self, which justifies itself, wants its own way, stands up for its rights, and seeks its own glory, at last bows its head to God’s will, admits its wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus, surrenders its rights and discards its own glory – that the Lord Jesus might have all and be all.