The biggest changes in my life are about to occur. These changes will affect not only me, but every member of my immediate and extended family and every friend. It will no longer be possible to keep what I have and have known. Everything I’ve known, been, and worked toward for the past 50 years is about to be altered by events beyond my control.
After 20 years living in my home, I’ve been working hard at downsizing my belongings over the past few weeks. While I’ve seldom used or even remembered that some of these things exist, there are multitudes of memories attached to them. Every item is carefully considered before adding it to a box for charity, for Ebay, for the trash man, or for storage.
Buried in a box of vitally important things, I found a 30-year old cassette tape of my mentor singing and playing the piano; another of a sermon he preached for me. Emotions washed over me at the discovery, but I don’t know where to find a cassette player anymore. The memories are still locked here in my mind, even without the cassette tapes.
I’ve repeatedly reminded myself that the value of my life isn’t determined by the things I have or had. Things may elicit memories, but the things aren’t the memories. Nor do the things define who I am or the value of my life past, present, or future.
The days ahead will be difficult in many ways with challenges yet unseen, but the clarity of an emptier house is a fitting picture of my renewed clarity of purpose and life.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).