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A Time to Cast Away

(ROCKWALL, TX — July 14, 2017) I quit watching the Inauguration Day news coverage to head for my bedroom closet. After seeing the new First Lady adorned in a powder blue dress that looked familiar to me, I scanned the nether regions of my closet where a few ghosts of my past still reside. And there, peeking out from behind some holiday velvets in the upper rack, hung my beautiful blue dress.

After our move-in day years earlier, I had reloaded an empty wardrobe box with clothing I didn’t wear anymore. Maybe no one else would want these out-of-style items, but it was time to pass them on since my side of the closet could only hold so many decades’ worth of clothing. But that powder blue wool dress was something else, and I couldn’t part with it.

The elegant dress had been a gift from my mother-in-law when she worked in the couture department of a Saks Fifth Avenue store. I’d never had such a well-made dress. Now, I felt vindicated for saving it from an unfortunate fate—like 80’s night at the local high school. Even so, maybe the time had come to let it go.

The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes examines the vanities of life. In a well-known passage, the writer says there’s a time for everything, including “a time to cast away” (Eccles. 3:61).

Robert Boyd Munger wrote a brief but compelling booklet titled My Heart—Christ’s Home. This allegory of the body as a house tells of Christ visiting every room, even the hidden places guests seldom see, especially the closet, with “things leftover from the old life….”

As that story continues, the homeowner realizes he has no strength to rid himself of things he should have parted with long ago. Instead, he implores Christ to help him, saying, “you’ll have to open the closet and clean it out.” And Jesus replies, “This is exactly what I came to do. You can’t live out the Christian life in your own strength…. Let me do it for you and through you.”

The Apostle Paul instructed believers that through Christ our bodies are temples where God dwells.2 He urged us to offer our bodies “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God….”3

This is much harder than giving away favorite old clothes unless we agree with Paul, who says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”4

1All verses from the ESV Bible; 21 Corinthians 6:19; 3Romans 12:1; 4Philippians 4:13

By Blue Ribbon News faith columnist Patti Richter of Heath.  





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