I’m bad about throwing things away. If it hasn’t been used or looked at in, I don’t know, maybe the past ten or fifteen minutes it belongs in the trash can. It’s become a personal goal to never appear on an episode of Hoarders.
But there are some things that I keep. Things that may not make much sense for a guy like me to keep.
Like the old acoustic guitar in my room.
I can’t play it but I keep it because it has a story with it.
A long time ago, my mom wanted to buy me a guitar. She didn’t know where to go or what kind to buy so she paid a family friend to find her one. That family friend’s name was Tadpole. He almost hit the big time in the world of country music so I guess you could call him an expert. He took my mom’s money and found a guitar at some truck stop.
Deep down inside, every man wants to be Johnny Cash. Owning a guitar that your mom paid a guy named Tadpole to buy at a truckstop makes you a little more like Cash. That’s why I keep that guitar.
I have a table in my office that most people think is filled with clutter. But everything on that table tells me a story. Like the black and white picture of my friend Casey, a white country boy from Georgia, baptizing a kid in an African lake. Next to that picture there’s one of Tay. Tay is a black country boy that used to live just right down the road from Casey. Casey’s mom treats Tay like he’s her own son. When I look at those two pictures, I’m reminded of how racial barriers are no match for the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10; Galatians 2:11-14).
On that same table there’s a bottle with just a little bit of oil in it. We put some of that oil on Jan’s head one night during a prayer service. She asked the leaders of the church to pray for her because she was losing her vision (James 5:13-15). At the store the other day she told me that she saw a lady bug for the first time in years. She went on to say that on Sunday mornings, all she saw was a big blur when she looked at me preaching. She was looking forward to finally being able to see her pastor preach. I apologized in advance for the disappointment.
And we used some of that same oil to pray for Julian. He was healed a couple of weeks ago when he woke up to the voice of his Master telling him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I wanted to see both Jan and Julian healed physically on this earth. Looking at that bottle reminds me that Jesus is sovereign, good and trustworthy and that he heals as he sees fit.
Whether we know it or not, we’re all surrounded by memorials of God’s grace and power. Some of those memorials tell stories of what God rescued us from and some tells stories about our new identity in Christ. They are the things that we will never throw away because they remind us that behind those stories there is a Divine Author crafting each scene of our lives together to make a masterpiece that reflects his glory and goodness.
And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
Joshua 4:5-7 (ESV)