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My Junk Drawer

Rachael Carman | June 10, 2024

Junk Drawer

This is what’s in the official Carman Family junk drawer in the kitchen. It is supposed to have handy writing utensils, a Post-it pad, some scissors (yeah, right), some tape, maybe a Sharpie; you get it – miscellaneous stuff. But those things are not usually in there.

It’s supposed to be a place we can go to quickly to grab some essential tools to complete a task. It’s not supposed to be hard to open. It is. It’s not supposed to be filled with trash. It’s not supposed to constantly be disorganized. But it is. It’s supposed to be neat, clean, and handy.

Instead, our junk drawer contains things that should be in the trash. Why do we even bother to open the drawer and put these things in? The trashcan is right beside it. Why do we stuff it full? Why do we avoid cleaning it out? Why do we put it off until we can’t close it out anymore? Why do we hope someone else will do it and we won’t have to?

Our family junk drawer is like my heart, my mind. It’s supposed to be a place where useful and helpful truths are stored. It’s supposed to be neat and clean. It’s supposed to be full of God’s love and His praise. It’s supposed to be easily opened, not jammed shut. But it isn’t.

Often my heart and my mind are full of trash- things that are polluting my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. I have put stuff there that contaminates me. Instead of being pure in word and deed, my thoughts and my heart become trashed.

This happens when I don’t practice discernment about what I put in. When I just allow whatever to enter into my mind; whatever music, whatever television show, whatever movie, whatever book, etc. When “whatever” sets my standard, I’ve chosen to passively poison my heart and mind with junk, useless, broken, worthless junk that needs to be in the trash.

Capitol One once came out with a successful advertising campaign featuring Samuel L Jackson, who simply asks, “What’s in your wallet?” For many, bank accounts, credit limits, and other financial assets are what’s most important. But Scripture tells us it’s a heart issue. God asks, “What’s in your heart?”

Hebrews 12:1 admonishes us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”

Hebrews 12:1

My junk hinders me. Junk does that. It gets in the way of our ability to function. It inhibits our focus and often frustrates us too. I can’t find a sharpened pencil in the drawer for all of the broken ones there, I can’t find a clean piece of paper for all of the wadded ones, and I can’t find a piece of tape for all of the empty rolls.

The last time I cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer, I determined to pause before I put anything in it. I decided to resist the urge to just stuff something in, to avoid thinking it doesn’t matter, to throw away the trash. So far, so much better.

Now, about my heart. Scripture admonishes me to “guard my heart,”

Proverbs 4:23

to store up for myself “treasures in Heaven,”

Matthew 6:19-21

to “love the Lord with all of my heart,”

Matthew 22:37

and in doing these things, there’s no room left for junk.

The best way to guard my heart is to be intentional about what I allow in it, to resist allowing “whatever” in. Storing up treasures in Heaven is best achieved by filling my heart with His truth and serving others. Loving the Lord is how we live each day, acknowledging and worshiping Him in all that we say and do.

Do you have a junk drawer, closet, or garage that you are putting off cleaning out? Why are you avoiding the task? Make an appointment with yourself to get it done. What about your heart? Is it overflowing with the love of God, or is it crammed with junk? Make of list of things that need to be cleaned out. Take some time now to pray and praise Him – the first steps to cleaning out your heart.