For the past week I have watched with interest a junk shop in Fish Hoek. Outside the shop is sitting a humongous object – I can’t decide if it is a bar or a display counter. Anyway it is circa 1970s with red faux velvet up the sides. The shop owner if hoping that someone will take a liking to it and take it away. At the beginning its sit outside it had a sign on it saying ‘Free’ – so far the only thing that has been taken is the sign! (So if anyone needs a faux velvet bar thing let me know and I’ll send you directions)
I was lying in bed thinking about this bar and asking myself why doesn’t the owner just take it to the rubbish heap? I guess either lack of transport, cash or effort have been stumbling blocks. I started then to think about the junk in my life – the things that I know I no longer want – the sin and baggage of past failures or mistakes. Am I proactive enough in getting rid of my junk? Do I expect God to come along and whisk it away like some kind of magic bin man? Yes I am forgiven, but I’m also surely not without responsibility. Paul tells the Philippians church to work out their salvation:
Philippians 2:12 continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
I love the way Eugene Petersen puts it in the Message:
Philippians 2:12 Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. (The Message)
Am I energetic in my life of salvation? Am I guilty of praying that God would ‘fix’ me but of not playing may part? We are encouraged to do all within our ability, with the help of the Holy Spirit to get rid of our junk:
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
The writer of Hebrews doesn’t say let us pray that whatever hinders us will disappear – he calls us to action- to throw it away.
Lord, forgive me for being lazy when it comes to my junk. Help me to throw off and shift whatever doesn’t honour you instead of waiting for you to do the work.