Every time we move we have one of these. No doubt you have too.
It’s the smaller box they use for parts of things the movers have disassembled. That’s its original purpose anyway.
It sometimes gets used for that in our moves, but more often than not it ends up as a “catch all.” You know, those random things that get left out, things you find on the floor behind the dresser or under the couch or in a kitchen drawer. That one little box becomes some mover guy’s saving grace because he doesn’t have to open another box to find a place to put it.
It’s pretty handy… sometimes.
Interestingly enough, I have found that my life has a parts box too. It’s a random box in my life where I just put stuff that doesn’t really go anywhere else, but I’m not quite ready to give up. This little box holds stuff like fear of things that could happen to my family, anger at something that happened in the past, habits I have but know they’re not what God would have me do, and activities I have committed to that God didn’t call me to do. It’s a random box of stuff.
It’s pretty handy… sometimes.
I have things that I should do and don’t and things that I shouldn’t do and still do. It’s all in my parts box. Paul knew exactly how I feel. In talking to the Romans, Paul struggled with a similar thing. Here’s how he put it:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:15-20)
Do you ever feel that way? It’s frustrating and disappointing. I want to follow Jesus, to do the things He wants me to, no more and no less, and yet I get caught up in the mess of the parts box.
How do I get out of that rut?
I need to just do away with the parts box altogether. The boxes of other pieces of my life hold the things God wants me to do. Sometimes things come out and others go in, but they all fit into my obedience to Christ.
It all sounds like a good idea, but putting it into practice is a whole other thing. How do I empty the things in the parts box? The things that should just go away? How did Paul do it?
Well, first of all, he wasn’t perfect either. He was a great guy, but not perfect. He did share a key component, though, not long after he made the statement above.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)
Bottom line – I don’t chuck the parts box. I allow God to do it in me.
I listen for His sweet whisper that says, “This is not for you.” Then I submit in obedience. One step at a time, the parts box goes out the door.
What do you have in your parts box? How can you take that step of obedience today and allow Christ to start emptying it?