Watching the show “Hoarders” is a revelation. These are people who over a span of time have secured almost every item they have ever encountered. They have surrounded themselves with these items, stashing them in their bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere else they can find free space. The extreme cases are so drastic that the subjects sometimes have to tunnel through these items to get from room to room. The piles of old stuff eventually decay and become hotbeds for disease. The shocking part is that even in the midst of all of this, the subjects become downright belligerent if someone suggests that they get rid of any of these items.
While the show is shocking, when we examine our lives, can we find any similarity? Are there old friendships that no longer benefit either party? Do we still have rituals and habits that once meant something but now are purposeless? Do we attend the same church because our parents and grandparents were on the church roll? If we are honest we can find many areas where we are just as bad as the people on that show.
In this, Samson had the right idea (not the Delilah part). In Judges 15:17, he has just finished killing a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey. Not a sword, or spear, or club, but the jawbone of a donkey. Not an anointed jawbone or an anointed donkey, just a jawbone that happened to be laying around. Now many people would have looked at this as being a jawbone with special properties. They would have built a shrine to the jawbone, would have carried it into every future battle with them. Today’s scientists would probably examine the jawbone in detail, searching for the mystical power that fueled this act. But Samson was wise. He realized that the jawbone was merely an implement, and when its use was complete, we discarded it. He understood that the action was not because of the jawbone, but because the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He gained a simple insight, which he used again at the end of his life. He understood that the power wasn’t in the things, it was in the God that directed his actions. It was in the Spirit that strengthened his body.
We need to follow Samson’s example (in this case). Too often we keep things around that no longer serve a purpose out of a sense of misguided loyalty. Sometimes the purpose for the thing has been fulfilled and we are still hanging on to it because it brings back a good memory. Even the Disciples were guilty of this in this in Matthew 17:4. They had seen an amazing sight, something for the ages, their Lord conversing with the greatest prophets. They wanted to make three memorials, things to return to, to revisit the scene and show others the place. But the truth of the matter is that the place would have overshadowed the moment, eventually. It would have become just another hoarded piece of memorabilia.
How many people, places, and things are you hoarding? How many relationships have served their God ordained purpose? Have these expired relationships past their prime? Are these rituals now toxic, but we still follow them because that’s the way Big Momma and Pop Pop did it? When will we have the courage to get up and walk away from the people, places, and things that no longer fit God’s plan for us?(married folk, SIT DOWN!) But until we can free ourselves of the jawbone, we cannot go on to the next great work God has in store for us.
Heading for deeper waters,
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.