It’s the new year! Time to dejunk your trunks!
Growing up, my mom’s bedroom closet was full of stored boxes. There were orange boxes, apple boxes, falling apart boxes. I distinctly remember an orange box filled with old toys. Mom tried to dejunk our toys occasionally. She’d pack up ones that were neglected and hide them away in her crowded closet.
It was a magical closet…or box.
It never failed that after a month or two, all those boxed-up junk toys stashed away in the enchanted closet—or amazingly plain looking orange box—became the objects of our desire. I remember sneaking peeks with my brothers and sisters to see feet, eyes, wheels or fur of some toy through the holes of that charmed box. Our kiddie memories were stirred by those small glimpses and we would reminisce about the “good old days” when those toys had been out and ‘oh so cherished’ (ha ha). That box of locked up magical toys became our obsession. We would beg Mom to please, please, please get those amazing, fun toys out of that box.
When she would finally relent, after weeks or months of pestering, the day would take on a “Christmas” or “Birthday-like” state. We kids would take each toy out in wonder and joy, our eyes lighting up as we oohed and ahhed. We played with our NEW? toys and gushed over how perfect they were…and as we did, mom nonchalantly picked up the now ‘unwanted’ toys to fill up the box again as we emptied it.
She stashed it away in her crowded closet where we couldn’t get into it…and the magic would begin once more. Time in the mystical closet would change the status of those toys from “unwanted” to “favorite.” It never failed.
Thinking of that box now, I wonder if I’m not the same way as an adult at times. It’s easy to take things for granted. It’s easy to get caught up in what you wish was different about your life or yourself…or others around you. The most precious things that surround us and make up our life can become easily overlooked if we’re not careful. It’s human nature. Spouses, family members, jobs, talents, abilities, our own bodies can be brushed over as nonessential or unimportant as we wish and obsess over what we DON’T or CAN’T have.
That’s why so many marriages fall apart, why so many families crumble and disintegrate. That’s why there are so many unhappy people in the world who are wishing for the NEXT thing to make them truly happy.
What the lesson of the MAGICAL ORANGE BOX teaches me, is that things that might seem unimportant today—if TAKEN away—might become the most important things ever…things we yearn for once they’re gone.
What would happen if your annoying chatterbox disobedient child was suddenly taken from you in a horrible car crash? Or what if your spouse who ticked you off with a thoughtless remark was suddenly dying of cancer? Or you lose your eyesight, or can’t sleep anymore? There are millions of scenarios. Hopefully we don’t have to lose something important in our life to realize what we already had.
Blessings surround all of us—even the homeless man wandering the street. We just have to have eyes and hearts to see them. We don’t need a magical orange box to put our possessions in to regain value. The value was already there—in our hearts as children—we just lost it in our fast-paced life. When we take time to think about what we have—to give gratitude to God and others around us for our blessings—the magic happens.