Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for April 6, 2016


Moving. What a chore moving is.  Sorting, packing, unpacking and sorting again.  But the unpacking can also be a lot of fun!  We have moved umpteen times and I have never had an opportunity to unpack while I was not working at the same time - which means that unpacking was a hit or miss experience with not a lot of thought going into where things went, or what to keep and what to get rid of; what to put out and what to continue to store.  It meant for years, we hauled around boxes from place to place that often never got unpacked!  
Makes you wonder what we were thinking….. But I guess it was the ‘we might need something in there someday’ syndrome or the 'we've got plenty of space to store that so we will get to it later' syndrome.  We never did need what was in them or even get to them to see what was in them because the boxes never had the tape removed but there truly could have been something in those boxes; something very important that one day could have come in handy!  I kind of figured we ended up buying whatever was in those boxes again because we didn’t remember what happened to the one we had and we never thought to look into those taped long stored boxes!!
But this last move was different.  This move I had time.  There was a lag time between my moving and my beginning my work.  What a luxury!  I had time to go through every box; I had time to think about objects as I took them out; had time to sort and keep and throw and give away.  
So I meticulously arranged and placed each object where I thought it would do best - where I could see it and think about it and remember the moments that precipitated why I had that object.  I displayed the objects in proximity to others where they would peak the same emotional tie.  It was such a joy to be able to relish this slow process and know that all those long hidden box items would now be revealed and put in areas of best use…….
Well, it lasted for a while.  And then came the baby to live in the house… Not that it was a bad thing for the baby to come to live.  It is a treat (most of the time - there are those moments……. ) to have this youngster crawling around and watching her as she discovers the world.  However, that is the problem - that baby discovery process.
Babies explore the world around them - constantly and intently with no object left untouched.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that the baby necessitated the repacking up of all of those carefully placed objects I had so relished putting out; it didn’t take long to realize that if those precious mementos were going to remain precious mementos - it was back into the box they would go. 
So that became the next job - all of those carefully, slowly, deliberately unpacked and placed curios were not so carefully or slowly yet very deliberately repacked up and placed back into taped boxes and into storage they went.  
The shelves quickly refilled with wooden blocks and small toys and stuffed animals and plastic books and dolls and sparkly balls….
As I walked through the house I realized how completely a small child takes over your life.  Not only is your time not your own, but apparently neither is your space or your memory laden nic nacs!  And not that that is a bad thing - it is just what happens as that little innocent bundle of joy grows!
This, too, is what our life with God is to be like.  As we grow in our relationship with God, he begins to take over more and more of our lives.  The things that we so carefully believed were important and essential to who we are, eventually and often painfully and reluctantly, become replaced with the things of God.  
Part of growing in our relationship with God is being willing to part with habits and emotions and beliefs and practices that we had collected through much of our life.  Just like precious curios on a shelf, we have to stop and evaluate and consider if and how these ‘important’ aspects of our lives might be an obstacle or hindrance to our being close to our creator.  And often, we have to pack up things that are so important to us and put them away so that we can truly give ourselves over to God.
Just like a small child takes over our lives and what we have and what we do, God desires to do the same.  And just like the small child brings us joy (and a bit of hard work), if we truly let God take over our lives - we will have that same joy (and a bit of hard work!)