Sunday my family went to help friends pack and prepare to move the remainder of their belongings. Their new residence does not have the storage space they need to contain all that they own and they must make some difficult decisions on what to keep and what must be stored, given away, sold, or otherwise discarded. The process is quite overwhelming and I felt helpless to offer any assistance or advice. Many of their things hold sentimental value and their worth cannot be measured which makes the process of all the more difficult.
When we returned home, I wandered through our house and looked at the abundance of processions that we own – abundance almost immeasurable, and I thought about how I would feel and act if I were in that same situation. I looked at the many things to which I cling that contain a special memory, were given to me by someone special, or hold some special connection to my past or ancestry.
I hold on to these things because they give me a link to my past. I want to remember the days gone by, and I am fascinated by the world in which my ancestors lived. I cling to the things that remain from earlier days because they remain and the people they represent are no longer with us.
We are finite beings created for eternity by an infinite God and I think that within our souls we are ever longing for a time and place beyond the confines of linear time. But we live in a fallen world in which for us time is linear, death is real, things and people are ever changing, and since we cannot hold on to the past, we cling to the things of the past.