One thing we think about as a new year arrives, is getting rid of some of our past baggage. Even in a day, we accumulate a bunch of it. We don’t just wake up, eat, take care of our personal needs and go back to bed and sleep again. There are lots of spaces in between that get filled with good or bad stuff. I think they call it living.
I’m reminded of the story of a professor who showed his students how space can continue to be filled even when we don’t think it can’t hold anything else. He demonstrated by placing some rocks in a jar to the brim. The students agreed that the jar was full, but the professor added some small pebbles that filled some of the empty spaces. Again the students believed there was no room for more. When the teacher added sand to the jar, they were amazed to see how it maneuvered its way through the tiniest spaces. It had to be full now, but once more the professor showed that there was still room. He added water to the jar and sure enough, there was a place for that too.
Going through the process of purging things can be painful. It hurts to throw away memories of a past business; hopes and dreams that you once held in high esteem; tons of fabric you knew you’d use some day; chunks of wood which could be turned into fabulous sculptures. When the day ends, however, these are simply things that will not fit in the next vessel you move into. Reality sets in and you realize you don’t need these extras anymore.
The new year finds stores filled with storage containers and organizational items to help you. When it comes to our lives, however, getting rid of our internal clutter will not always fit into a plastic box. The baggage we carry around with us every day, includes things like anger, hatred, fear, depression, anxiety, loss, hopelessness, guilt over unconfessed sins and so much more. There isn’t room for it in anyone’s heart. How do you dump years of frustration, or months of sadness or loneliness? Is there a landfill that will take all that garbage and crush it into pieces – never to be remembered again?
Yes, there is! Jesus came to live among us for just that purpose. He told people to cast their burdens on His back. He invited them to ask for help. He kindly offered Himself as a servant, as an example of how we should live. He endured humiliation, false accusations, the abandonment of His people, the suffering, beatings and execution of the Roman cross. He even lost connection with His heavenly Father in that time. He took all our garbage to the cross with Him and buried it in the grave. Then He conquered Satan and the grave by returning to life.
We will still have troubles in the new year. Perfection will come after we leave this veil of tears, but we can be sure that God has washed our sins away. He’s taken the garbage out of our souls and we will one day live in paradise with Him. WOO HOO!