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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Junk Drawer

October 15th, 2008

Every house has at least one. 

The “junk drawer”.

Most often found in the kitchen, it usually barely opens. Pull it out five inches and a ruler or a tire pressure gauge or a plastic thingy from some forgotten project gets stuck cross ways and you have to jiggle the drawer back and forth.

Why the plastic thingy is there, you can’t remember.

What the plastic thingy is, you can’t remember.

Why you didn’t throw it away, you can’t remember.

Why you don’t throw it away now?

The reason there will always be a junk drawer.

And why it will always be full.

When I moved into my place here in Lubbock, I told myself I wasn’t going to have a junk drawer. No need for it. “A place for everything and everything in its place”, is what I said.

A year later the drawer by the stove that started out complete with organizer tray is full of pens that don’t work, jagged tip Sharpies, zip ties, twist ties, Zip-Lock bags, a padlock, matches, stray paper clips, hose washers, a partial roll of silicone tape, mini Phillips screwdrivers, a magnetic stud finder, an empty packing tape dispenser, a blue Crayon, an empty bottle of dry erase board cleaner, AAA batteries (some new, some not, who knows which are which), picture wire, paint samples, a phone charger, push pins, and a shopping list scrawled on a napkin.

The thing about junk drawers is that ours is the only one in the world that makes sense. If you’ve ever been to a friend’s house and in looking for a fork to eat your cake with you pull out their junk drawer, your first thought is, “Why the heck are they hanging on to all this crap?” Our friends are idiots for keeping leftover parts from the ceiling fan installation but somehow the two wooden dowel pegs, half a pack of Juicy Fruit and broken sprinkler heads in our drawer are the epitome of frugality and foresight.

The solution, it would seem, would be to give each other permission to clean out the other guy’s drawer.

It doesn’t make sense to hang on to an empty bottle of dry erase cleaner. It also doesn’t make sense to hang on to empty relationships. Or grudges. Or bitter feelings toward someone who did us wrong. But we do. Maybe we think we’ll use them again someday. Maybe we’re afraid of what will happen or how we’ll feel if we toss them out. The resentment and pain that keeps our drawer from opening all the way just gets jiggled around, but never thrown away.

A friend looking in the junk drawer of our heart would say, “Why the heck are you hanging on to all this crap?”

And they’d be right.

The solution, it would seem, would be to give someone permission to help us clean out our drawer. Someone to help us identify our emotional junk and why we need to get rid of it. A trusted friend, a wise counselor, someone who can help us with the process of dumping our drawer to clear the way for healthy relationships and make room for a healthy life.

It’s a smart thing to do.

Now if they could just help me with that drawer in my kitchen…

“Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.” – Proverbs 19:20 

Todd A. Thompson – www.ASliceOfLifeToGo.com