The Cedar Chest

This week I took a metaphorical walk down memory lane and rearranged the bits and pieces in my cedar chest. The task was long overdue. Over the decades, I had tossed items in without labels and without regard for their fragile nature. I had taken items out and replaced them haphazardly. Since I only have sons, it will probably be my one granddaughter who goes through the items later. I wanted to purge and reevaluate the contents. It was both a trying and wistful experience.

I found the remnants of my wedding bouquet, baby blankets I made on my first sewing machine, baby shoes and infant clothing for both boys, my late father’s overalls and shirt, souvenirs from vacations, my old Barbie doll and letters from various family members and friends. I also found a grand champion trophy from a 1995 cow show, my youngest son’s class ring and his graduation souvenirs. There were also college writing assignments, a doll from Greece, concert and football tickets, ball caps and embroidery. What a conglomeration!

I guess this urge to declutter comes with stage of life I’ve just entered. Since I retired in May, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the organizational household tasks I’ve put off for decades. I’ve also been thinking about the word “legacy.” What will I be remembered for? For teaching language arts? For directing plays? For singing a solo in a Christmas cantata? For Sunday school? For taking care of my family? For cooking Sunday dinners? None of those things will last beyond a few years of memory.

Paul said, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV).

My prayers, my times in God’s presence, my investments in kingdom giving and my efforts to bring others to know Him count much more than the trivial contents of a wooden box. The only lasting contributions I can make in this world relate to God’s plan. The rest is as trivial as a shriveled prom corsage or a faded newspaper article.

6 thoughts on “The Cedar Chest

  1. Laurie adams

    Your post reminded me of all of those loose photographs that I have that I’ve said for years now I would organize. Some day I always say. Someday the photos will fade away but the presence of God will last forever. May we always remember that the best memories are those with eternal value.

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