“Dying moments, new beginnings” is a phrase that describes a communion celebration that many of us associated with The Walk to Emmaus will recognize. It defines what we, in our Christian lives, do again and again as we experience the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. Time and time again we find ourselves dying to some aspect of the flesh and beginning new life in yet another aspect of our spiritual selves in the Spirit as we grow into the likeness of Christ.
As I begin a new phase of my life, retraining for a new career, I am having to turn loose of some things that have been part of my life throughout all the 15 years or so of the last phase. This weekend was a closing of some of those doors. It was a difficult decision to make, but a necessary one. I, like everyone else, still have only 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Adding new activities and demands means that some have to take a back seat and some, sadly, have to be gently and lovingly, handed over to someone else or set aside altogether.
Being the sentimental accumulator and collector that I am, it is hard to leave things behind. Everything that has been meaningful to me in the past remains meaningful to me now and I want to keep it as a treasure, a sweet memory. I’m having to learn to treasure the memory of things without clinging to the the space and time that they occupy.
There was a book entitled Marbles years ago by an Auburn English professor. In it, the main character relates stories of the many people who’ve been a part of his growing up. He likens those various people to the individual marbles that he keeps in a glass jar, describing the variety and different purposes that they’ve both served. How much more efficient, both in time and space, to store our memories of people, events, and institutions in a compact little jar of marbles!
As Bill and I have downscaled our homes over the last 15 years, I’ve had to turn loose of a number of things and trim down several sets of collectibles. Our home is still quite full of various “treasures”. Similarly, as we are having to turn loose of some of the pleasurable and meaningful activities and institutions that we’ve been involved in, we find there are still many remaining and new ones being added all the time.
Some few years ago I resolved that every time I purchased a new pair of shoes, I would discard an old pair. That has worked well in the context of management of closet space. It’s also served as a constraint on buying new shoes. It seems that I am also at a point where I have to resolve similarly regarding a number of other things in my life. I pray that God will give me the grace and wisdom to choose wisely……..