Summer has kicked in, the kids are home & we’re cleaning up stuff around the house.
I recently played at an Alana Club, where getting cleaned up is the primary intent.
I didn’t post that gig because it was kind of a “members only” event. Everyone is welcome, but if you haven’t been through what these people have, you might feel out of place. (No, I'm not a member, the promoter is a friend)
For many of my friends, the world is a different place now than when we grew up. Some of the landmarks, buildings & businesses that we thought would be there forever are gone. Points of reference that defined our lives have changed or are gone. A few of you are reading this because your kids “turned on the internet” for you, ‘cuz cyberspace is still a little scary.
When our comfort zones are challenged or compromised, it gets a little harder to get up & move on as we get older, but if we don’t, that fire that gets lit under our butts will burn us to a crisp.
Trying to hold on to some stuff slows us down even more, though it may be that stuff is part of that comfort zone, a touchstone to remind us of where we’ve been. Just like a security blanket or favorite toy we took everywhere as a child helped provide that sense of being..
Just as that blanket eventually wears out & those toys get broken, they get replaced as we move on.
The problem is when we realize those things will go away eventually, so we acquire “backups” which further clutter our lives.
At the Alana, cigarettes & coffee are the drugs of choice. Coffee is served one size, 16 oz., strong, no sissy latte sippers here. Eventually, turning to a “Higher Power” is what these programs are all about, then hopefully, letting go of ALL the stuff holding back a person from their potential is realized & they can live lives empowered & free.
Unfortunately, some don’t get there.
The promoter mentions one of his friends overdosed the day before. Some would say it was a young life wasted. But the reality is that this person’s life became a warning, a wakeup call, for others close to the edge. The only voice loud enough to get through, & the only way to be heard was in dying.
So I’m cleaning stuff up, finally letting go of Aloha shirts that are just too worn out to patch up, magazines that had relevant articles to reference…a decade ago, broken stuff that would be easier to replace than fix, & things I kept stored “just in case” that wound up rotting or mildewed anyway. I will keep Dad’s old baseball glove, some old cards & letters, Yearbooks.
Eventually some stuff will have to go, like my wood tennis racket, skis, sports gear. Still not sure about my Hot Wheels collection or my VW bus.
But when it’s time to go, I know much will just get tossed out as trash, memories will fade away, & the only thing left will be my relationship with God.
“Getting Clean” is something Jesus did for me before I was born.
Staying clean is a process that happens for a lifetime.