The Rector's Weekly Column

Rev. Victor H. Morgan


         The sagely, wise author of Ecclesiastes, the preacher, says that there is "time to keep, and a time to cast away."

         Most of us do a better job of keeping than casting away. I know because I recently cleaned out a closet in my house.

         Opening the door I thought, "This shouldn't take long." But it did, and by the time I finished, I was amazed at the things that had accumulated in that space: a wind up gramophone that plays wax cylinders, several old kitchen mixers, a lamp shade from the 1940s, a 'magic cover' for the car windshield (still in the plastic sleeve), a clothesline kit and four pairs of Hawaiian shorts, just to name a few.

         Most of what I found I did not need, but a few items I did. In this latter category, I discovered six fluorescent tubes. Just prior to beginning the closet project, I had made a mental note to buy two the next time I went to town.

         You can probably guess where the extra tubes went: back in the closet, where I hope I will remember them to be the next time I need them.

         Lighting tubes were the exception. Most of what I found was not needed. Two large bags went to a local thrift store, while an additional six were set outside for the garbage man.

         Where did all this stuff come from? Why was I keeping it?

         Perhaps we need to ask the same about our lives. Clutter just seems to accumulate. A spiritual assessment is needed to determine what needs to be kept and what needs to be cast away.

         Many of the things I removed were not bad things. Some were rather interesting and special. Nevertheless, I needed the space for other things. So it is in our lives.

         For example, such habits as watching television and playing games on the computer are not bad in and of themselves, but, if we put them away or at least limited them, we would have more space in our lives for better things. I am thinking of such things as spiritual reading, helping others and having meaningful conversations with other family members.

         When was the last time you went through your closet?

         O Gracious Father, since it is of thy mercy that another day is added to our lives, we here dedicate both our souls and bodies to thee and thy service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life; in which resolution, do thou, O merciful God, confirm and strengthen us; that as we grow in age, we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Rev. Victor H. Morgan is rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Blue Ridge.

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