A man awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size waterbed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily.
The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back; but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes that poked it full of holes.
Disgusted, he threw out the waterbed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he awoke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain.
After the service was over, a man approached me and asked if the story was true or not. His exact question was: "Did that really happen? Or was it just a 'preacher story'?"
Well, I am happy to report that it was not just a "preacher story". It came from Reader’s Digest magazine, March, 1993, p. 123. The original version was written in first person, by someone who apparently had known the man, had witnessed the episode, and had then sent in the story about what all had happened to him.
I found it quoted in a blog by Scott Aughtmon, Lead Pastor of the Pathway Church in Palo Alto, California, as found at: http://pathwaypaloalto.blogspot.com/2007/07/series-heroes-ex
I share it again today as food for thought, especially as the new year continues to unfold. It is natural (and proper) at this time of the year to undergo a process of evaluation in an attempt to determine what things we should let go of and what things we should keep.
And yet, while this is a worthwhile process, it is important to make certain that we do not get carried away. Spring cleaning (or in this case, mid-winter cleaning) is a good thing. We just need to make certain not to go overboard in our enthusiasm and
discard something we might later realize that we should have kept.
Years ago, as a child, I remember hearing people talk about the importance of not "throwing out the baby with the bath water". The origin of this phrase had to do with the bygone custom of washing a baby in a wash tub in the kitchen. After the process was over, mothers would naturally throw the dirty bath water out - usually by slinging it out across the yard. Needless to say, it was essential to remove the baby from the tub first.
As we move through life, it will be always be important to discard some things. After all, we cannot carry everything with us for our whole lives. This applies to possessions, to be sure, but also to memories, feelings, grudges, attitudes, hurts, and a whole hosts of similar things. However, we must make certain as we discard these things that we do not let go of those essential relationships, convictions, values, etc… all of which we rightfully hold dear.
So please pray for me, as I will you, that God will give us both wisdom in order to know what all we should value, and thus keep; as opposed to what all we should properly and freely discard. And as the new year unfolds, perhaps we will each find ourselves more suited, and better fitted, to serve our Lord.