I recently cleaned out my cupboards and couldn’t believe all of the outdated things I had slowly pushed to the back of the shelves instead of using. I was saving the best for later in case company came, or in case I wanted to make something special in the kitchen for a friend. There were gourmet mushrooms for an omelet that will never be eaten, and special party dip mixes that never happened.
I was really frustrated with myself for thinking that someone else deserved the best that I had to offer, but I hadn’t used it for myself. The same is true in my closet. I have outfits set aside for special occasions that haven’t happened.
I just bet I’m not the only one who does this. Why do we think we should save the best of anything for someone else who won’t even realize our sacrifice instead of getting the good of it ourselves? Why do we feel like our best things have to be hidden out of sight in case someone else needs them?
My brother sent a message to me on the computer this week worth remembering. “If we always put everyone else in first place, we are teaching them to always put us in second place.”
I grew up with the benchmark of JOY. We should always put Jesus first, others second, and “you” last. That works really well if everyone in our lives are playing by the same rule book.
I’m not saying that I want to be front and center of anybody’s life. I don’t want to put myself above others, but I think I’ve gone overboard about always putting everyone else first and believing that I don’t matter as much as the other people in my life.
I think I need to do some housecleaning. I need to get rid of worn linens and bring out the ones I’ve been saving for company. I need to cook the special ingredients in the food I like to eat instead of thinking someone may come for a special occasion that never happens. I need to wear the special clothes I have filed away for “someday.”
And while I’m at it, I think it’s okay to do some things that make me happy. If I want to leave dishes in the dishwasher or wait another day to mop the floors while I go out taking pictures of flowers, then who cares? Chores will be here when I get back to them. No one else is going to sneak in and do them for me.
I’m not just talking about myself here, but I don’t mind using my own life to point out what a lot of people need to be reminded of for themselves. What good things are you “saving” for someone else and letting them go unused, or even letting them spoil? What things do you currently have in your closets, in your cupboards, or even in your dreams that would enrich your life by putting them to good use now?
I love it when God speaks to me about ordinary things. God loves us. We are special to Him. It’s okay to use those special things we’ve reserved for someone else to enrich our own life. It certainly makes better sense then having to throw things out because they are outdated, or have linens dry-rotting in a drawer somewhere unused, or clothes gathering dust in a closet that have never been worn.
There is no guarantee of tomorrow. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to make the most of today?
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.