Thursday, December 9, 2010

Letting Go

My dad brought an ancient Gingko log into the backyard. It sprouted leaves every spring. Without any roots mind you, or branches, but somehow through capillary attraction it sucked up moisture from the soil and pushed forth a few fan shaped leaves. Dad never got around to carving it before he died, but it became one more thing the salvage guys carted out.

Tightwads by nature hold onto things. There’s even a technical term for it. Sunk cost fallacy. It’s the too small clothes kept in the hopes of losing enough weight. Odd bits of string. Scrap paper. Little stubby pencils that barely fit in the sharpener anymore. We invested capital in these things and by jingo we want our money’s worth.

Eventually it leads to clutter.

This may sound blasphemous. There comes a point when it’s not worth holding onto. Face facts. Granted, the pencil lead has a tad more life in, it but the eraser is shot. The new pencil erasers are drying up even before you get to use them. You won’t lose those 50 pounds. I’m sorry, it’s true, you won’t. And if you lived to be a hundred, you won’t need more scrap paper. Junk mail will always come to your mailbox, you’ll always have a fresh supply.

It has spiritual implications. We hold onto habits because they’re comfortable. We hold onto stuff as a buffer for the future. We don’t really believe God will provide when we need it, but have to stockpile to insure protection against every contingency.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. “Hello my name is______, and I’m a packrat”. The second is to realize you have sinned by seeking to control your world, and to admit you need God’s help to overcome fears and put sin to death.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! You are an amazing woman who is growing in the grace of an amazing God. I love you.