by Sandy Kirby Quandt
In the mid-1990s my mother’s house was hit by lightning and burned to the ground. She refused to leave her property in the country and move to town. Instead, she purchased a mobile home and had it placed on the property which had been in her family for generations.
One of the things Pilot and I did to help Mom after her new home arrived was go through the few belongings which survived the fire to decide what to keep and what to throw away.
Funny how what one person treasures another finds little use for.
I have a vivid recollection of Pilot and me sweating under the very hot southern Georgia summer heat, washing various kitchen items that hadn’t been consumed by the fire while my mother, aunt, and uncle sat chatting inside the air conditioned living room.
Whenever I felt something was beyond saving and should be thrown away, I had to clear it with Mom first. I’d hold the item up to the sliding glass window and Mom would shake her head yes or no. She didn’t open the slider for fear some of the a.c. would escape, I guess.
Before I washed the dull, long-bladed knife which had been around since before I was born, I knew for sure Mom would agree it needed to be tossed. The point at the end of the knife broke off long ago when Mom used it to pry something open. Spots of rust dotted both sides of the blade. Surely she would agree there was no need to keep the thing, but I knew I needed to get her approval first before I threw it away.
I held the knife to the slider. Mom shook her head no. Not satisfied with her answer, I opened the slider and explained the obvious reasons why I should not waste time washing something so useless.
“I started housekeeping with that knife” was all she said, and I proceeded to wash it shaking my head the whole time.
I’m not sure how many times Mom used that knife after that, but I do know the dull, broken, long-bladed, rust-spotted knife stayed in Mom’s kitchen until the day we moved her into the nursing home decades later.
As I pondered this memory, I thought of how sometimes we struggle with knowing what to keep and what to throw away in our beliefs. Sometimes we hold onto beliefs we learned years earlier in our Christian walk which, upon closer inspection and deeper biblical study, are no longer valid or useful.
We believe certain things because our parents believed them. We heard a preacher say something once which we kinda still believe, but aren’t really sure. Some author somewhere wrote something people talked about, so it must have some basis for truth.
Instead of relying on things we’ve heard others say, how about we search the scriptures and discover God’s truth for ourselves? What say we become students of the Word to gain a clearer understanding, and once we gain that understanding, apply God’s truth to our lives?
Instead of using a dull, broken, long-bladed, rust-spotted, incomplete understanding of the Truth, let’s determine to sharpen our learning so our knowledge will lead us to a better understanding of what to keep and what to throw away.
Is there anything you’ll admit you hang onto that should be thrown away?
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Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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