I might be a Pack Rat

This morning I cleaned out the closet in my son’s room.  This is the space that has been used to hold everything we can’t find a place for anywhere else in the house.  Tucked deep in the back corners are treasures from my past that I could not part with.  I found so much today that forced me into a state of nostalgia.  Baby pictures of me on Santa’s lap, rewards from elementary school, a certificate verifying I made A-B honor roll one time, trophy’s from the sports of my childhood (best offensive lineman in 1982!), important works of literature I composed in elementary school, stuffed animals, and many more trinkets that could bring my mom to tears.  I also discovered my knee brace from my season ending football injury in 10th grade. Pictures of old friends from Middle School and High School. Newspaper clippings of when Jimmy V passed away, signs from Putt Putt, old toy guns, wrestling figures (not dolls), half used deodorant.  Why did I keep this stuff?  A large collection of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues. (OK, I know why I kept those.)  I found t-shirts commemorating every event and youth trip going back to 1992.  There are shirts from when I raced in 24 hours of Canaan up to the most recent youth camp this summer.  Each one has a memory attached to it.  I found the bulletins from funerals of people that were close to me and the newspaper from when my parents survived one of the worst tornados in the Oklahoma’s history.  That was a scary night, because we could not get in touch with them for many hours.  I loved looking through all the pictures and love letters from Shannon.  All the memories of when we were just courting each other.  Actually I just bugged her until she got tired of saying no!  My most treasured possession that I uncovered today had to be my first “cool” watch from the 7th grade.  A neon green and orange Swatch Watch.  Proof that my obsession with watches started early in life!

Every item I searched through this morning reminded me of a moment in my history.  It was intriguing to remember how we use to dress and how girls used to wear their hair.  How did they get their bangs defy gravity like that?  I loved looking back on the times when life was so simple and the times that were the most challenging.  I realized that each and every event in my life has sculpted me into the man I am today.  I am regretful of some of my decisions, but I would not change a single one.  For all the times I was hurt and all the times I caused pain to others, there was a lesson to be learned.  There is nothing from my past that I can discredit as useless.  It is exciting to me that everything I do now is a part of my shaping process for my future.  Every decision matters.  Every action is crucial.  What am I doing with my life?  How will I impact others?  Is God pleased with who I am?  In light of this mornings reminder, I say these are important questions to answer.  I also realize that the answers carry more weight than I might want to admit.

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