Throwing Away The Rags
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…”- Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 5-6 (ESV)
So, my wife and I have been working on sorting cabinets and clearing things out that we don’t necessarily need anymore. It has been an interesting process to say the least. I am always willing to get rid of things, but I also know my wife is very sentimental and tends to reflect on how important something is which causes her to keep the item for “just a little bit longer”.
I experienced a role reversal this past week.
I was washing dishes, you know because I’m an all-star husband, and while I was washing I noticed the dish rag had some holes in it and the fabric was thinning. I looked at the rag and I realized it was on its last legs.
I decided to look at the other rags that matched it, they too are falling apart slowly, but surely. I began to get a little sad.
You might be saying, “Seriously?! Over rags?!” and I will respond to that with, “You haven’t even let me finish yet, so quit your judging!”
Anyway, these rags aren’t just ordinary rags, they’re magic! Alright, not really, they are ordinary rags, but I bought these rags off of a church group selling them for a fundraiser when Natasha and I bought our first house. I remember the people coming up to me and they were selling brooms, dish rags, and other cleaning supplies. I felt bad, so I bought the rags and a broom. The broom ended up being destroyed quickly by one of our cats , so it was a waste of money.
However, these dish rags have held strong for six years. I actually think they have been one of my better purchases off of a traveling salesman.
So, now, six years later I am looking at the rags with all their holes and thinning fabric and realizing we might have to get rid of a memory. They might be just rags, but they are a small part of a big piece of our marriage.
This is life, isn’t it? We have things, people, or pets in our lives that hold a firm place in our mind and heart. We hold on to them and we enjoy every experience we have.
Nevertheless, we begin to recognize time is taking its toll. We begin to notice flaws, holes, broken pieces, chips, disconnections, and/or age, which will lead us to think about next steps. We begin to contemplate the transition. What should we do with these parts of our life that have been so important and have given so many memories?
We want to hold on for just a little bit longer, but we know whatever it is, the time is coming that we will have to say goodbye to move on to something different.
It could be a romantic relationship with someone that has been a true friend and great partner, but you know that they are not for your future and you need to step away in order to grow and discover who you are supposed to be without them. You might even notice the flaws and missing pieces you need for a complete and healthy relationship, but you’re keeping them close because of memories of the past, not because of the present. Letting them go is a hard process, but a necessary action in order to know what could be.
It might be a friendship that has been wonderful, but you are beginning to see the thread split and your connection is not as strong as it once was. You want to hold on for nostalgia, but you know and they know it’s not, and may never be, the same. One of you has to decide when it’s the right time to throw in the towel and move on. Who knows what new friendships are in store for both of you or you might be missing now because you’re trying to keep hope alive.
You see what I’m getting at…hopefully.
As I write this, I am looking at one of the rags sitting by the sink. There are new rags that we will have and they will do the same job, maybe even better, as the rags we have now. It’s just getting myself to the point of saying, “Alright, we both know you aren’t what you used to be. Times have changed. I need to progress and the longer I hold on to you my old rag, I will never know what could be sitting on a shelf in KOHL’S somewhere.”
Maybe, there’s a conversation that needs to be had today between you and your “rag”? May you have the strength to do it. May you have the ability to take a step in faith, knowing that you can experience something new today.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: Do you have anything in your life that has major sentimental value that you just can’t get rid of?