You Don’t Know What You Have If You Won’t Open It

My husband is on a mission.

Get our garage cleaned so we can use it as a garage.

For a car.

We’ve talked about this for years, but it’s never gotten past talk to task.

Neither of us is great at follow through. Decision making about throwing or keeping is a huge endeavor. And when exhaustion dogs our steps on the weekend because of week-long busyness, more decision making is the last thing either of us wants to do.

John has friends who’re passionate about clean garages. One friend felt overwhelmed by his mess and felt stuck with the grand scale of the task.

A group effort helped him reach his goal.

John has caught the declutter bug.

I haven’t. But his contagion embraces me, like it or not.

He’s a pitcher. One who randomly throws things out without considering possible value.

I’m more the seller. If it’s in good shape and someone might be able to use it, sell it.

Having several children who have no emotional buy-in to our stuff, I invited Tiffany to help me select what was worth selling. She’s got the tech chops to offer it online.

She spent time with me going through our stuff, taking pictures, remarking on what needed to be thrown out and helping me declutter.

Boxes that hadn’t been opened in years.

Oh, the things we discovered.

Beautiful cloisonne boxes from Thailand we’ve had for twenty years. A ceremonial dagger from China John was given three decades ago. Pictures from Turkey I bought in Istanbul in the late 90’s.

I hadn’t seen any of these things in years.

One of the treasures we discovered was a beautiful hanging glass carving made by John’s brother. Mike created this piece years ago, but because of a tiny chip, he couldn’t sell it. When asked if I wanted it, I said yes. And put it someplace safe.

In the box I just discovered. With all these other treasures.

When we moved into this house twenty-three years ago, there were boxes we didn’t get around to unpacking. The longer we left them packed with no apparent need for what was inside, the less important it became to do anything with them. The gifts inside went unused and unappreciated.

My loss.

I’ve been given “gifts” in life that I’ve not valued at the moment. If I’ve not taken time to really open them and pursue and appreciate them, I lose.

Those gifts are people. Being gifted with relationships is the most incredible present we can receive. People add to our lives, experience, and growth. To not value those who touch our lives daily is a loss. Ignoring someone because we may not agree with or apprciate their “box” costs us. We miss out.

The greatest gift? That which Jesus offers us. The gift of life itself. Hope beyond what we can imagine.

Many never open that gift. They don’t believe Jesus can be who He says He is–God become man. The One who chose to leave heaven’s glory to show us God.

A Gift available to all who will receive it.

The only Gift that truly keeps on giving.







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