I told myself earlier this month that I would write a new post about my journey to landing an opportunity of a lifetime. Weeks passed and though it never left my mind, I didn’t allow myself to slow down enough to get my thoughts together to be able to share the magnitude of what happened; especially in a year that has been nothing less than tragic. I promise that I’ll get to that story but today I had to stop everything to share the most simplest moment that happened to me just this morning.
Like many of you, I have been hit hard this week. The news of Jacob Blake… followed by the teen vigilante shooting… while watching the repeated history displayed at the March on Washington… and the looming frustration of have no arrests in the case of Breonna Taylor… and then news that Chadwick Boseman dies at age 42. THE Black Panther. Wakanda Forever. Gone. It was too much. So this morning I purposed myself to take control of the mood that I wanted to set for the day. I decided to set aside hours of no television and no social media. Instead, I would light candles, have breakfast, fold clothes and maybe I would break out one of the books I’ve been trying to read for over a year.
I get halfway through my chores and I noticed that my towel bin had become unruly. There was no organization and I started thinking I should probably declutter a bit by getting rid of some of the older towels. Simple, boring tasks but since I finally decided to disconnect from everything, I had to time to pay attention to the matter. For those of you who have been following my blog since 2010 you probably can see where this is going. I’ve written many times about how God’s voice just pops up in the midst of the most basic moments. It’s never been a huge spectacle that appears in the midst of some big worship service or program. He speaks to me softly in my quiet moments when I’m preoccupied doing something simple.
As I was deciding which old, raggedy towels to dispose of, I remembered the times when I’ve needed to clean off the grill in the backyard, or wipe off the inside of my car, or needed something to paint my nails on. I remembered the times when my dad would be at my house fixing something under my sink or behind the washer machine and ask me if I had an old towel he could use to accomplish the task. I was reminded that there’s purpose even in the things that I no longer value. And that’s when He spoke and said:
“Those things in your past that you would rather not relive and hope to never have to see again have a purpose. Just because it brought hurt, pain, and heartbreak and you’ve grown from them, doesn’t mean that those experiences won’t serve a purpose in your future. Your new days are going to require you to get down and dirty sometimes. The work that you’ll need to do will require you to pull from those experiences in order to get over new ones that could have otherwise taken you out had you not learned lessons from the past. So don’t get too high on your horse to think that you’re in the clear. Everything that I’ve brought you through serves a greater purpose for the people and things that you will encounter in the future. “
I was standing in my kitchen looking at those raggedy towels in a complete trance. I even tried to rationalize why that couldn’t be right because no one wants to be hoarder. It’s good to purge. The Bible even talks about pruning right? So why do I need to keep an overflow of tattered towels in my bin? Thank God for His patience with me. I finally got it together. The true point is not holding on to the toxic remnants of those experiences that cause self hate, self doubt, depression, and fear. The key is to trust God to work you through the mess so that you’re able to see those same experiences in a new light and recognize their purpose. They’ve equipped you to handle situations in your future and even better, they’ve prepared you to be able to help someone else get through something similar. Those experiences don’t hold any value in your life but they still can serve a purpose.
So back to the lesson. Even though those towels may have faded and the fabric has unraveled, they are just what you need when you’re looking for something to handle the dirty work. No they’ll never be used for wiping dishes or to hang in your bathroom for guests. They’ll remain tucked away, unseen, and unbothered but you can rest in knowing that when the time comes to get down and dirty you have just what you need to get the job done.
God has a purpose in everything we encounter. Today reminded me of the importance of hearing His voice to reassure us that we have all that we need to get through our most trying times… even in 2020.
Take time for yourselves today friends. You never know what you’ll hear.
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